Our Ailing Queen

She had the symptoms of a raped victim.

Crazed eyes, slit lip, tangled hair and violet bruises flowering along her jaw line. Yet she sat calm with a straight back, transfixed, waiting. She was no gentle Queen, even though her body was battered and broken her face glowed with fierceness and determination, bold but timeless. Weathered hands lay displayed before her. There were no nails left for they were broken by the struggle as she had clawed and fought but to no avail. Her hands sat in repose not necessarily in defeat, but in acceptance of loss. I approach timidly, not fooled by the running tears on her gaunt cheeks. How can I console this caged spirit? But I could already see from the look in her eyes that she despises the pity that I wish to adorn her, so I kneel and I gaze at my ailing Queen, avoiding her seeking eyes. Her bare arms and legs are covered in angry welts, her one eye blue from the blows, swollen and shut. What do I say? Yes, she was raped, yes,

she was mutilated, yes, she was betrayed, yes, she was abandoned, and yes she was forgotten… almost. I have been forestalling this moment for far too long, so I finally answer to her gaze. What I had readied so artfully in my mind; my forgotten allegiance, accusations, lame reasons failed to resonate behind my sealed lips. Even in her wretched state she offers a smile.

Where have you been Child?

I have been running never from you but to you. It is not shame at you that repels me but the apathy that I have chosen to cloak me. It is not a loss of memory of you that brings me, even if for a short time, but the recollections of better days. You have and still give when there is nothing left to give. Though the world, even your subjects, disregard you, you grace me with this plea. I see your crown lies next to you, flung to the dirt, trampled, ruined, a jewel worth nothing. Picking it up I try my best to fix what is left when I feel your hand atop of mine. You shake your head and I know your right, now is not the time. Ruefully I replace the crown and stand up. What do I do? I offer you a sturdy hand, and even though it is no solution, I now refuse to ignore what has and is being done to you. No longer will I be the spectator, the mute, nor the heartless. No longer will I be the hypocrite, the coward, nor the deserter. Wait no more for it is time that I come home to you… it is time that I offer myself to you. It is time that we mend you, my Queen.