And now for something completely different…
So here’s the story.
I was writing a Macbeth exam for my one of my classes and I wanted to find a poem, or a song, or something that the students could relate to the text. I searched all over but couldn’t find what I wanted.
So instead, I wrote what I was looking for.
I initially posed it here and started getting comments and emails about it. People were concerned. Empathetic. Some good friends laughed at the “silent” line.
But, see, this isn’t autobiographical. It isn’t coming from some dark place. It really is just a question for my Macbeth test.
The Fourth Witch
I am the fourth witch, the one they don’t mention
Hidden in the shadows of the heath
While my sisters double and bubble
And secretly toil.
I am the judger, the one who observes
Watching them munch and munch
With the lives of sailors and kings
And worthy thanes.
I am the silent one, cloaked in shade
As chaos and storms brew
Nighttime cauldrons and haunted minds
And poisoned breasts.
I am the eyes of the hearer, the ears of the watcher
The witness to all that is flawed, and steeped in blood
So thick and deep and spreading
They dance round and round, without me
The fourth sister, the banished and alone,
Cowering in the corner sister.
Clean-chinned and clothed in robes
That don’t quite fit.
He comes near, bold and wild,
A foul man, a fair idiot, playing upon our stage,
Fretting and strutting into their hands
And their winding charms.
“Out, Out!” I want to say. “Turn, hound!
And follow lighted tapers to a new morning
Away from these fools and their chants
And hollow knocks.”
But I am the fourth witch, a role never borne
Weaker than my sisters, unsexed on the heath.
Pricking my thumb and letting him go
The way to dusty death