Once Upon A Time

For Arthur and Guinevere 

I should have known that walking into this castle did not make me King

I should have known that crossing drawbridges and moats did not make me regal

I hadn’t scaled a mountain or climed toward an ivory tower or ever grounded a dragon

I merely held your hand in mine and walked forward to propel the telling of our tale

A simple man looking not for his equal but for a Queen

I should have known that coming from the middle of the story would not guarantee a happy ending

I should have known that fantasy and magic are but mere illusions we create 

I am not a magician or sorcerer or wizard

The only wand I wield is my promise to be present and to be true

Still a simple man looking not for his equal but for a Queen

I should have known so much more

I had been hero and villain and savior and dark one before

I knew the peaks and valleys in this land 

I knew the places where magic could be found and where tyranny would surface

I could have been King of all the land for I had covered all of its terrain

And yet I remained, a simple man looking not for his equal but for a Queen

I should have known that the mirror does not deceive

I should have known that history and fairy tales repeat themselves

I never picked up an errant slipper or delivered anyone from sleep

Our feet were planted firmly on the ground and wide awake we were 

True love’s kiss is not always enough  

True love, like happily ever after, is a transient state requiring going back and forth between the story

I should have known these things and more

In my desperate attempt to conquer the Kingdom and rule the land

In my effort to swoop in and rescue the princess to make her my Queen

I forgot about the simple man

I forgot about reality

I forgot to hold my (cr)own and in the end I lost my Queen

I should have known…

Better

  

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