Exit a Princess

by Patricia Hahn

You had it all, they said, allure, wit,
All the wealth in the world to go with it,
And – so the story went – lightness of heart.
We rustled our programmes, willing the play to start.

But waiting in the wings were the usual rout,
Trolls, ogres, genies fizzing to get out,
The griefs, the ghosts wringing their saintly hands –
No expense spared, a cast of thousands.

Fumbling and stumbling – that’s how most life is,
But royal stumbles are state circuses.
Tall shadows haunt the palace and the plot;
They get you in the end, princess or not.