WHAT I REALLY WANT



is to be the Queen.
Since I first saw Elizabeth:
solemn, beautiful, with that crown,
the robe, the golden orb.
When I am queen,
I’ll wear them always, all day long.

The crown is heavy, my mother explained.
It won’t be for me.
And you’re not a princess, my mother explained.
Oh, but I’ll marry the prince!

And when Diana did, I felt  betrayed,
though I was grown and settled
with a little house, a family, a little job all my own,
and though my grown-up self could never fancy Charles.

Fifty years later I saw my purloined things–
the orb bigger than I’d remembered, robe more magnificent.
The crown was exactly right–
and the scepter, the emerald in the sword–
A conveyor belt moved me along through that ancient room
as if I were merely a breathless tourist;
I could not touch those things
that still in my three year old soul
I believe should have come to me.

It was not the power–never that–
but the trappings:
palaces and Cinderella’s coach
to ride in whenever I said the word,
the golden throne,
hangings and dresses of velvet and silk,
all that splendor about my head.

They told me wishing was silly–
what does a child know?–
but they were always wrong.
That robe, the orb,
substantiate my deepest desire:
my jewels, my aboriginal crown.

~another one for the Royal Wedding~

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