Ornery the Ape
(with apologies to Shakespeare's prologue from Henry VIII)

Both long of arm and short of leg he stands:
two-thirds torso, feet resembling hands.
Orangutan? Chimpanzee? Who’s to say?
How to suggest him monarch of our play?
This I, as prologue, shall attempt to do
with final judgment best reserved for you:
A tragedy? A farce? The two combined?
What tone and diction, vulgar or refined,
shall artfully convey the image sought
and justify the price of ticket bought?

I realize that one cannot but laugh
at each of his faux pas, each clumsy gaffe
when he attempts to speak but flubs his lines
attempting to play king despite the signs
of creeping inattention, mental loss;
or even hints he doesn’t give a toss.
Not so! Though elderly and angry, still,
his entourage, we know, if told to kill
can figure out how many ought to die,
and whom, wherever found beneath the sky.
Thus, those who find the gruesome slaughter thrilling
will not protest his Broadway marquee billing.

So, there atop the heap humans have placed
one of their kind, ostensibly, disgraced
by what he does and what he often says,
addressed — I kid you not — as “Mr Prez.”
Impertinent inquiries he deflects
while rude replies are not what he expects.
Or tolerates. Revenge with ice should rhyme
and take – what he has little of – its time.

But your indulgence, wisdom would not test.
Preliminaries past, now to the rest . . .

Michael Murry, "The Misfortune Teller," Copyright © 2023