The Goose Girl – Suzi Feay

Kings in fairy tales
Are such homely things.
Wandering the fields,
Eavesdropping on goose girls.

Where was the armed guard
For the bridal ride?
Only one proud servant
By the princess’s side.

Imagine, the king’s daughter
Usurped by impostor,
The charm dropped in the flood;
The swap in the wood.

The enchanted horse’s head
Nailed in the gateway
Knows but does nothing.
Only the wind heeds her calling.

Does Curdkin remind her
Of her prince-brother?
Down comes her hair, pure glitter.
This boy may not touch her.

And what of the impostor,
Lying in her stiff robe?
Suicidal to proffer
Penance of a nailed tub.

Was she so sure her ruses
Were flawless? Unaware
That Nature always chooses
The child with golden hair?

Or, with but one life to live
Presumed her worth was as much?
Princesses are born, not willed.
Child, child, you will meet many such.

SUZI FEAY
Illustration: Heinrich Vogeler

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