Damn the will. The day’s blotter
has given up the dead:
a girl’s name and alleged act of treason.
A wooden chair for her to sit,
should her location be revealed.
The plume, a plane, a vintner’s glass,
the sprocket in a mechanic’s bag of tricks.
I’d rather the search be
for something regal than the alternative,
a girl in a faded blue dress and a stitch
of remorse along the hem. Her simple act
of defiance was a raised glass and a toast
to simpler times, when a girl could grow into woman,
not fuel for a queen’s amusement, a fire left
to smolder in an open field, the many places
a royal sword can linger over the body
until what passes for allegiance
becomes severed and alone.
A sedan with stolen plates circles
the castle as a guard smiles and turns away.
He knows these are uncertain times.
An Uber or an assassin, either way no reward
in the status quo. Better to keep quiet
as a family tree splinters and catches fire.
The queen is the town’s fodder. Tonight, she
crackles and burns.
This poem appeared in Passengers Journal, July 2020.