This poem appears in the Summer 2021 issue of Modern Age. To subscribe, click here.                                 

                                 concluding Act 1, Scene 2, of
The Tragedy of Julius Caesar

The trumpet blows, and Caesar leaves the stage
To enemies he does not know he has.
Though twice forewarned, he somehow fails to gauge
The many characters around him as
Conspirators. Refusing to stay home
That Ides of March, he struggles to believe
His third (and last) wife’s bloody dream could come
To something she or anyone would grieve.
So hubris goes, among the Romans and
Elizabethans and Americans,
The players rather slow to understand
Antagonists are all too close with plans
To ruin those who long have been in power
And have declined to abdicate or cower.