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Poem: "Princess in the Shadows" - The Wordsmith's Forge
The Writing & Other Projects of Elizabeth Barrette
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!"

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Current Mood: busy busy

8 comments or Leave a comment
rix_scaedu From: rix_scaedu Date: January 8th, 2012 06:18 am (UTC) (Link)
So that's why they all say 'the princess' without any clarification - there is only one!
ysabetwordsmith From: ysabetwordsmith Date: January 8th, 2012 06:27 am (UTC) (Link)


At least in that part of the world. I know there are other nations but we haven't met them yet. The four we have thus far are in a cluster together.

I think it's funny that rulers often want sons ... and forget that it takes two to tango!
rix_scaedu From: rix_scaedu Date: January 8th, 2012 06:42 am (UTC) (Link)

Re: Yes...

Given they seem to have very different government styles I suspect they aren't interested in amalgamating the countries concerned. That would mean she's looking at a family of at least two heirs and two 'spares'?
ysabetwordsmith From: ysabetwordsmith Date: January 8th, 2012 06:57 am (UTC) (Link)

Re: Yes...

Something like that, perhaps. It would depend on who she marries: not all of the rulers are hereditary. But you're certainly right about them not wanting to merge. The populations are just too different in terms of how people think and do things.
fayanora From: fayanora Date: January 8th, 2012 06:23 am (UTC) (Link)
*Giggles* I like her.
ysabetwordsmith From: ysabetwordsmith Date: January 8th, 2012 06:31 am (UTC) (Link)


I'm happy to hear that.

I like her too. I think it's cool that, instead of letting other people run her life, she is taking charge of it. She knows what she wants to get out of a marriage: something that will benefit her people, and a guy who is lovable. She's not fussy about falling in love first. I think that's a very practical approach, and probably has a better chance of success than thinking with one's ladyparts.
From: minor_architect Date: January 8th, 2012 03:45 pm (UTC) (Link)
Even if this generation of heirs hadn't run mostly to boys (the princess is in the mix, after all), I get the feeling she would've been clever enough to snag a suitable match first. ;)
ysabetwordsmith From: ysabetwordsmith Date: January 8th, 2012 06:14 pm (UTC) (Link)


What can I say? Smart women are hot! ;)
8 comments or Leave a comment