My red-haired child, my rosy disappointment,
from birth she was an error in the script.
We were young, I said, strong as lions;
we’d fill the nursery with blue-eyed brothers.
Henry frowned and would not hold her. The jousts
were cancelled. The royal birth announcement letters,
already written, had to be revised:
two curving lines, like inky tears, squeezed
into the emptiness that followed “prince.”
Juliana Gray is the author of the poetry collections Roleplay and Anne Boleyn’s Sleeve, which won the 2013 Winged City Chapbook Press poetry chapbook contest. Recent poems have appeared in or are forthcoming from PMS: poemmemoirstory, Tupelo Quarterly, Unsplendid, and elsewhere. An Alabama native, she lives in western New York and is an associate professor of English at Alfred University.
Margaret Bashaar’s poetry has been previously collected into two chapbooks, Letters from Room 27 of the Grand Midway Hotel (Blood Pudding Press) and Barefoot and Listening (Tilt Press), as well as in many literary journals and anthologies including Rhino, Caketrain, New South, Copper Nickel, and Time You Let Me In. She lives in Pittsburgh where she edits the chapbook press Hyacinth Girl Press and is a staff writer for Luna Luna Magazine. Her debut collection, Stationed at the Gateway, will be published by Sundress in 2015.
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- Project Bookshelf with Editorial Intern Ashley Somwaru - September 16, 2020