the prince’s response
Posted October 10, 2010on:
The prince’s response to a hundred-year long.
I’ve been raised by my father the King for many purposes,
the first of which is to take over his kingdom one day
I hope, one day far far away –
I hide this fear of responsibility deep inside me.
The second of which is to learn of the seven languages,
including the language of the swordfight.
I dare say I am the best fighter in this kingdom,
The kingdom I am to take over, one day far away.
The third of which is to protect my mother the Queen,
frail as she is as she gave birth to triplets,
my two brothers they died as infants,
and that is why my purposes are multiplied.
The last of which is to marry the sleeping princess.
My father said her kingdom’s riches would be mine,
my mother said her beauty and her soul would be mine.
P.S. They had not seen her, nor her kingdom, for themselves.
So here I am, cutting brambles which grew over a long-forgotten castle
While my second cousin removed took over my ride and game
While my squire feasts his eyes on the mermaids down the road
While my entire court, really, drinks tea and eats supper.
This girl, they say, I must kiss –
With lips I used to kiss Penelope and Amalia –
Both of whom just found out about each other and about the sleeping princess,
And then they left me. Damn girls.
Father, mother, ’tis my duty to please you,
so here I am climbing over crumbling walls
dreading kissing a hundred-year old gal (what breath!)
while slaying the dragon in the way (two strokes and a half, I do believe this beats my record).
Finally, I step on long dark hair
which had grown over a hundred years.
In a room which stank of mildew
But she smells like roses and she looks, well, like a princess.
Well, she is fair enough to be a wife.
I hope she cooks and cleans and does the chores.
I certainly won’t mind her next to me at night.
Here it goes. The kiss to seal my fate (and hers, I suppose).
She did not wake.
And I watch as maggots crawl out of her ears.
And the smell of roses were funeral flowers.
Blimey, I think I’m at the wrong castle.