Once Upon a Poem, Twelve Girls Danced

Twelve dancing princesses twirl ‘round the hall

Laughing with glee as at last they shed all

The burdens of holding a state on their shoulders

The eldest twirled forward, nothing to hold her

But the delicate hands of her sister no older

Than seven, still younger than should be to bear

The burdens of power the sisters must share

That damage them more than the shoes that they wear

Each night until morning finds satin in tatters

And father screams spittle like perhaps it matters

That slippers are rebought while spirits are battered

And pushed back behind the steely facade

Of soft playful smiles and firm regal nods

And all of the knights and the men think it odd

That upstanding ladies should vanish nightly

To secretly do something so coarse and unsightly

As leave to go dance when they should be locked tightly

Away in some tower away from the rabble

Away from the fun and the light and the babble

Of life, that they grasp at like straws ‘til they scramble

Back up into bed by the rooster’s last call.



My take on the classic tale of the Twelve Dancing Princesses.

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