The Old Queen

Don’t tell me who’s too old,
or who’s too young and tender.
We’re all going out together
we’ll face the horde, live or die,
and that’s the end of it.

It’s too hot in this room.
Draw back the curtain
let me see the night,
let me catch the breeze.
I hear the sentries walking the walls.

Like the night I came back from the dragon,
what was it, forty years ago, fifty?
I know I was fifteen.
My hair was gold then, singed, but golden,
I walked back to the castle.

My father was sitting right here, head in hands,
he hadn’t wanted to send me off to die.
He was surprised to see me coming back.
As soon as he heard what happened,
he wanted to marry me off.

“Who ever heard of a princess killing a dragon?”
“They’ll hear that a queen did,”
I said, so he stepped down.
Well, that was long ago.
We’ll fight the barbarians tomorrow.

10th July 2003.