This just in:
King Richard III has been sleeping off
the winter of his discontent just below
the concrete of a municipal parking lot
His feet have gone missing,
sometime between 1485 and today,
when you thought about leaving
the house to rule your own life
from the side of the road.
No one is bothered by the King's
missing feet--least of all, the King.
Things are on the up and up.
He, not shaped for sportive tricks,
has been reshaped: grand new visage
unveiled on national telly.
Plump cheeks, wiry eyebrows, the hint
of a smile, a visage no longer rudely stamp'd.
What dead nephews?
It doesn't look like the face of a tyrant.
I'm sorry, but it doesn't,
says Philippa Langley,
member of the Richard III Society.
He's very handsome.
It's like you could just talk to him,
have a conversation with him right now.
A wig, glass eyes, an enthralled audience:
Richard the III at last courts an amorous
LCD looking-glass and fan-club nymphs.
Love's majesty has finally come to His Majesty.
The dogs have gone silent. It is 2013. They yawn
and wait for breakfast to descend.
Deformed, unfinish'd, sent well after his time
into a breathing world, scarce half made up,
well met by loyalists of the future:
the king has never had it so good.
Philippa Langley is not wrong.
I could quite talk to him,
Daughter of York as I am.
I study his curved spine.
I mourn his feet.
His glass eyes regard me well.
White rose recognizes white rose.
He studies my furrowed brow,
no glorious summer here.
Go back to bed with your old wounds,
he decrees. Do as I have. Bide your time.
Someone will remember you. Someone
is sure to come looking. Sleep now.
Give them time to assemble the calvary.
In a few centuries or so you will have
the story you always wanted, and who
will be the wiser?