The Mummified Head of France’s King Henri IV: April 2015 PAD Chapbook Challenge, Day 23

The mummified head of France’s King Henri IV was lost after the French Revolution until a few years ago, when it showed up in a tax collector’s attic.

— Mental Floss, “10 Facial Reconstructions of Famous Historical Figures”

Why was your head in the attic,
and why did you smell like
“garlic, feet and armpits” —
enough that this fact would
go down in history? Maybe
you had bigger fish to fry
than a modicum of bathing.
Maybe you were busy being
a good king, dancing at
the peasants’ garlic feast,
waving your arms and making
various proclamations as
your feet strained against
your stockings. I confess
I don’t know much about you
other than your stink
and your mummified head.
I guess that’s what
a life comes down to:
Some idiot like me
writes a poem like this,
ignores the fact of
your murder by zealots,
whatever it is you tried
to do with your time, and
whatever put the twinkle
in your reconstructed eye.

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