Lear’s Wife

... if thou shouldst not be glad,
I would divorce me from thy mother’s tomb,
Sepulch’ring an adult’ress.
— William Shakespeare, King Lear

He faked my death,
set up this ranch
far from my three

daughters. Suburban
hellhole. With bracelet
on ankle, house-

arrest. At noon
the bully sun
shoulders a ripe

moon. In the dark
soaps reign. The anchors
will often flash

their glitterati
weddings. Not one
daughter has birthed

an heir. In vitro —
be damned. I hose
the lawn and count

the cars like fish
slipping their shiny
chrome along asphalt.

Which sparrow missed?
Cordelia —
my gutted heart.

More Poems by Elise Paschen