It might have been forever that the king and queen
lay there – shadows playing silhouettes on pillows –
peasants traveling rickety roads to find them floating
within their stone oasis – out of a commoners reach,
above the world.
The queen smiles at the king like a woman confident
she will produce heirs and the king smiles back confident
that he can protect her – the walls of the castle are tattooed
with portraits hanging like doubts – smiling at anyone
born to rule the kingdom of their fears.
As younger sires, everything seemed so possible – until
a prince is sent on a journey to find a trinket to trade for
love, or a princess’s beauty gets poisoned by a step-mother’s
apple, and then only through the intersession of a mage or
an old woman is the day ever saved.
Then there is the inevitable happy ending – women weeping
while waving flags and men marching back from victorious
battles – angels making sleepy music – everyone entering or
being caught up into a dream of impending happiness – waking
like different people, all finally getting along…