Apocryphal Bard

To be or not to be? Whose question is that?
Not mine said the sweet pea tucked snug in its pod.
Not mine said the queen bee sipping honey through a straw.
Not mine said the oak tree, I am what I am.
Not mine said the pearl, the world is my oyster.
Not mine said the turtledove to its fetching mate.
Not mine said the mountain peak sitting pretty.
Not mine said the black hole, I'm a sucker for nothing.
Not mine said the butcher, the baker, the candlestick maker.
Not mine said Hamlet, my creator was mistaken.
To be or not to be? Whose question is that?
Shakespeare's, I think, who was really Francis Bacon.

by Richard Schiffman

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Richard Schiffman is an environmental journalist, poet, and author of two biographies. His poems have been published in Southern Poetry ReviewAlaska Quarterly ReviewNew Ohio ReviewThe Christian Science MonitorThe New York Times, and many other publications. His poetry book, What the Dust Doesn't Know, is forthcoming from Salmon Press.