Elizabeth Barrette (ysabetwordsmith) wrote,
Elizabeth Barrette
ysabetwordsmith

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Poem: "Princess in the Shadows"

This poem came out of the January 3, 2012 Poetry Fishbowl.  It was inspired by prompts from siege, wyld_dandelyon, and kelkyag.  It has been sponsored out of the general fund.  This poem belongs to the series The Ocracies, which you can explore through the Serial Poetry page.


Princess in the Shadows


"The princess has sent you an offer,"
said the servant to Lorahn of Aurea.
"She wishes to discuss economics
and a possible marriage alliance."

"Can she figure at all?" Lorahn wondered.
"Oh well, at least she mentioned economics.
I suppose it can't hurt to book a visit and find out."

"The princess has sent you an offer,"
said the servant to Georken of Helgi.
"She wants to open negotiations about
cooperative ventures and matrimony."

"Is she any good on a committee?" Georken mused.
"At least she knows enough to start with negotiations.
Very well, add that to my schedule."

"The princess has sent you an offer,"
said the servant to Bayerd of Pelip.
"She hopes to make arrangements
for the breeding of horses and heirs."

"Does she even know how to ride?" prince asked.
"Though she doesn't seem to flinch at mounting.
Go put together a caravan and let's meet the girl."

"Are you sure about this, my princess?"
the servant said as he handed over the replies.

The princess of Ophele stepped out of the shadows,
her hair a sweep of smooth black satin,
her gown of charcoal velvet studded with pearls like stars.
"Of course I'm sure," she said.  "For some reason,
this generation has all run to boys, so I get my pick.
They're decent people and they're tolerable to look at.
No doubt I could learn to love any one of them."

She smiled at him, her dimples showing.
Then she lifted the replies from his hand
and ticked off the points on her fingers.

"Lorahn of Aurea has enough money
to fix every road in Ophele, which would benefit everyone.
Georken of Helgi could negotiate his way
out of a dragon's belly; that's great diplomacy.
Bayerd of Pelip knows equine genetics; 
he could breed gentler draft horses for our farmers."

"I can hardly wait to meet them and pick a husband,"
she said as she bounced on her toes.
"Just think of all the good  I could do!"

Tags: cyberfunded creativity, fantasy, fishbowl, gender studies, poem, poetry, reading, writing
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