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.