The Price (a monotetra)
A man once proved a prince to be,
but not through blood of royalty.
He was a gentle man, you see;
he was to me, he was to me.
And he upon my cheek did leave
the sweetest kiss, I do believe,
that any maid did ere receive
one winter’s eve, one winter’s eve.
He was a poor blacksmith, it’s true;
of florid trappings he had few.
But from our tender heartbeats grew
just one from two, just one from two.
And I upon my finger wore
a sturdy ring of iron ore
that he with steady hands had poured.
To him I swore. To him I swore.
It was with pride I wore his ring
and did with hope his praises sing,
for he was rich in other things—
my humble king, my humble king.
But fate would have a different plan;
came calling quite a wealthy man.
And surely as a maiden can,
to him I ran, to him I ran.
He brought me to a palace fair
where wild blooms perfumed the air
and servants washed my feet and hair
with oils rare, with oils rare.
And he upon my hand did place
a diamond ring in jeweled case.
A fitted veil of finest lace
concealed my face, concealed my face.
Recalling how my prince did weep,
for many months I could not sleep,
for I had vowed in slumber deep
his heart to keep, his heart to keep.
My husband does not have his eyes,
the laughing blue of summer skies.
A cold estate of ample size—
my only prize, my only prize.
So each night in this bed I pray
as stars above me burn away
and stars within me turn to gray.
And yet I stay. And yet I stay.
My eyes with guilty teardrops swell.
My heart is dead, an empty shell.
This home of mine is now a hell.
I’ll never tell. I’ll never tell.
The years have turned to decades now.
I’m white of hair and pale of brow.
To nullify this faithless vow
I know not how, I know not how.
And now my prince has surely passed;
this sad regret will be my last.
Trade not your love for riches vast;
death follows fast, death follows fast.
Laura Plummer is an American writer from Massachusetts. Her work has been featured in a number of print and online publications. lauraplummer.me.