W.D Jackson

from Shakespearean Sonnets

Macbeth – Macduff

I cannot but remember such things were,
That were most precious to me.
IV.iii.202-203

All that was many years ago – my wife,
My children. How could any man forgive
The furious shadow which cut down his life
To less than nothing? How forget? How live?…

Blood required blood, murder more murder, to make him
Safe from the likes of me, who found the king –
Who’d knocked, but knocked too late. Nothing could
wake him …
Leaving my children with only their mother’s wing

To shelter under, I fled. From England, we
Avenged ourselves for all who’d stayed and died.
His death brought peace – and no peace. Minds which
free
Themselves of guilt – of blame – must quell their pride.

Unless I can forgive myself – as well
As him – the air’s still foul, this place still hell.