Florilegium Archive · Papercuts and Scribbles

November 2020 – The Irish Princess

Poem inspired by The Irish Princess by Karen Harper

The same deep darkness--
just shadows.
The uncrowned royal family of Ireland
peppered with black sheep.

if only Ireland could be for the Irish,
of wind and forest and freedom.
More fiercely independent
Silken Thomas, the rebel 10th Earl of Kildare.

I emerged from the fog of childhood;
dawn was just pearling the sky.

A raving fury took over.
We are an island.
We are all Irish rebels.
We women were considered harmless.

Hear this, Irish,
you have the heart and stomach for the fight.
A young woman, wild with courage and rage.
Irish she-wolf.
You think too deeply for a woman;
Brigid of Kildare, however pious, had stood up to the old ways.

I did not feel he touched me at all;
it dirtied my desires.
Death could not find him there,
torment in the time he had left--
I had made my point with the dagger of truth.

Mermaids oft lure sailors to their destruction
like an Irish rebel lass
too terrified to pray.

Townsmen who had turned traitor
on that rain-swept Sabbath,
white as bleached Irish linen,
the Tudor temper and the Irish temper had tangled.

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