False Fire

By David Yezzi

The players withdraw in rain,
rattling over the high road.

After a princely welcome,
all hoopla and fol-de-rol,

their shadowy spectacle proved
too much to bear. They pass

the walls without fanfare or thanks,
winding to the south, seaward,

cart wheels sunk in the mud
where Yorick keeps his tongue,

his antics latterly praised,
as grave makes way for grave.

This article available online at:

http://www.theatlantic.com/magazine/archive/2009/04/false-fire/307330/