Frailty Thy Name is Gertrude
I always had the hots for Claudius
that man could turn a woman inside out
seduce her with a glance
blind her – just by placing
his bejewelled hand across her cheek.
But here’s the thing:
second sons do not deliver kingdoms.
I wedded Hamlet.
After our boy was born, that sour old git
chucked me like a worn-out jerkin.
‘Your place is with the ladies.’
‘Look to your son.’
Hamlet got what was coming to him –
splayed out below the apple trees
shrivelled like toad skin.
Can’t pretend I was heart-broken.
If I hadn’t gone along with Claudius,
Christ knows where I’d be now.
This way I’ve got my throne
and a king keeping me warm.
Young Hamlet’s time will come.
Right now he needs to man up,
get real, sort himself out,
stop mincing round Elsinore
like a dying corbie.
Jean Taylor from Edinburgh loves poetry and paper and folding poems into paper aeroplanes. Her poems have been published in a wide range of publications, anthologies and poetry websites.
Her pamphlet Deliberate Sunlight was published by Black Agnes Press in 2019.