I was the more deceived.
-Ophelia, Hamlet, III.i
It’s hard to stay angry on a bed of water.
Harder yet to remain above the tide—
hence the anchor, hence the dive.
For those of us who practice our Ophelia,
we creatures of conscience, let it be known
that I have keened the lake in colder
seasons, seen the loves returned by acts
of ice. Olive bottles, agate necklaces
bought in beachfront shops for cheap.
I shall th' effect of this good lesson keep.
I rearrange my lost and found. That man
who was discovered rooting the bottom
three decades after his death: in his boat,
a fish still writhed the line. Hear me out.
Even the swans’ necks don’t shape a heart
when they hunt beneath the dark.
From Swan Dive (Frog Hollow, 2015) by Michael Prior