At Abishag's Amazement

[after 1 Kings 1:1-4]


Who knows how monarchs organize their lives?---
or how their thoughts and preferences might change.
I, too, considered, the idea strange
that he would have refused his royal wives
to sleep beside a teenaged, poor girl---me;
without the least thought of adultery.
I simply lay beside him quietly
beneath embroidered covers, there to keep
him warm and comfortable, so he can sleep.
The chill gives him bad dreams of being dead:
these I do not admit into his bed.
He says my rough-spun gown and soiled bare feet
prove that I lack pretension and conceit,
and that my name should sound in poetry.




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