I’ll admit that it was different, and something of a strain
by John F. McCullagh
When our troupe was performing “Hamlet: for the criminally insane.
It was some do gooder’s notion to expose them to the arts.
and I saw that they accepted it when boys played women’s parts.
Some Prisoners thought the ghost was real and they were sore afraid
Their minds could not distinguish it was just a role I played.
Each line meant to gain a laugh fell silent with that group,
But as the death toll mounted, they thought that was a hoot.
They were the strangest audience, those prisoners out there
When Hamlet mused on suicide, they’d hoped he’d end it there.
Poison, murder, suicide; they were thoroughly entertained!
To thunderous applause we bore Prince Hamlet from the stage.
The warden was so gratified the Bard was loved by all
That we’re performing Titus Andronicus for the prisoners this Fall.