poem 5 prompt 4 (palace of justice 5)

Knowest thou what ill there is?


Ismene, sister, mine own dear sister, knowest thou what ill there is, of all bequeathed by Oedipus, that Zeus fulfils not for us twain while we live? Nothing painful is there, nothing fraught with ruin, no shame, no dishonour, that I have not seen in thy woes and mine.


Antigone works to wake her sister:

It’s bad, honey. We’ve been done wrong.

Knowest thou what ill there is?

Clouds lowering from a sky not theirs.


The sister glowering: she wants (she needs)

a date with her boyfriend

who doesn’t like it when she’s late.

Knowest thou what ill? Only half kidding.


Because sis is no dumbo. Antigone has

a point, like any obsessed sermonizer.

Yes, ill’s gone down again (again!).

But knowest thou how ill A’s ranting is?


It razors through the sky no longer theirs,

a long broad arc from a father’s crime.

Who wants to track it to the well? Knowest thou

what ill there is? Your ill, she means. Wake up.

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