Lines for a Princess

I am a sheltered flower in the garden of atrocities.
You do not heed my gentleness. You do not like my rage.
Men stare over my head. I am invisible and furious.
I was told to beware of dragons, wolves, and so on.
Nobody let on that I had to beware of the prince.

How is it possible to be so dull in all this beauty
with so little time left to admire?

I am a mountain juniper, holding on to the world
in a fierce wind. There is no market for my tenderness.
I want to open the curtains of morning.
The love you never felt for me? It was so beautiful.

I am this planet and my sequins do not hurt anyone.
I wish God would believe in me.
Don’t take my legs away, then offer me stilts
and invite me to the race. My yearning, let it carve
canyons into the mountains of unnecessary evil.

I am unhappy because I am not wanted.
I am not wanted because I am unhappy.

Perhaps I am simply one of the seeds
that never quite took, eaten by some hungry bird.
I hear the tap tap of a lonely wind on my bones.
I am not lost, just tired of the road, like an angel
with infected wings. Days whisper by. You have to
listen carefully to hear them.

We’re finally enough, this earth and I, although
my yearning feels exceptionally wild today.

Beauty doesn’t seem to help much. I still have sparkles
on my skin from last night’s dance, but now it’s back
to the usual, the mash of modesty, where men choose
compromise, and they expect and are content with
dullness, and then dullness comes, as dust will settle
anywhere you do not actively defend.

I have been given this beautiful life. Sometimes I forget
to notice as I wait here, cooling toward death, a poet
who wants sequins and justice both, the wild importance
in my soul, the vertigo of colors, spice wind, and lilac rain.

I am a sheltered flower in the garden of atrocities.

Beate Sigriddaughter,, lives in Silver City, New Mexico, where she was poet laureate from 2017 - 2019. Her poetry and prose are widely published in literary magazines, including online. Unsolicited Press published her poetry collection Emily in 2020. She posts other women's work on her blog Writing In A Woman's Voice. Read other articles by Beate, or visit Beate's website.