Gladstone

“–and so I will, by hook or hell! Sincere
and thoroughly deciphered, Yours: Gladstone.”
…Or snap the pen between my teeth! This green,
this green? Remove it, he is dead! My peers,
back-bench Iagoes, fret their beards. The Queen?
What can or could I say? “All suns must end”?

No. Too mannered, too Lucretian. She’ll need
my tears – perhaps I pointillate each page
with flecks of water, or would ale show best?
Words, then effects. I said, remove these weeds!
Green mocks me… Old Lion, his paws & breast
more thorn than claw or pelt… I’ve fought my age