Mourning Becomes Jocasta

It’s complex,
this idea of sorrow,
this love of my son
who is my husband,
this one foot after another.
Tomorrow is now,
yesterday is when,
never today.
Moments wash away
in morning’s mourning.
Our children will know
the shame of it,
the blame of it,
but the noose will not.
It will work morning,
bring mourning,
and the shame
will be forgot.
Except by the gods,
who will make
this puppet dance
at rope’s end,
a fine finale
to a flawed romance.


(Editors’ Note: “Mourning Becomes Jocasta is paired with the following poem, “An Elder Resigns from the Chorus of Oedipus at Colonnus,” by Peter Tacy. Both these poems are read by Erika Ensign on the Uncanny Magazine Podcast, Episode 37A.)


Jane Yolen

Jane Yolen’s 389th book was published in 2020. Her eye is on #400 as she has already sold those books. She has won two Nebula Awards for short fiction, 3 Mythopoeic Awards for novels, the 2020 Asimov’s Reader’s Choice Award, for a poem in the magazine, the Boston Science Fiction Starlight Award (it set her good Scottish coat on fire!), two Christopher Medals, a Caldecott Award for her picture book Owl Moon, was president of SFWA for two years, as well as two World Fantasy book awards, named a Grand Master for SFWA, SFPA, and the World Fantasy Association. She has six honorary doctorates for her body of work, was the first woman to give the Andrew Lang lecture at St. Andrews University in Scotland since the inception of the series in 1927. (One of the speakers–in 1939–was J.R.R, Tolkein.) and was on the board of the Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators for 45 years.

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