Colleen Anderson

Photo by Colleen Anderson.

My lad, my dear, you will be king

with a reign of a thousand years

You need fine clothes to make the man

a way to inspire confidence


It will last far longer than your current clothes

the suit that I will sew for you

whether you watch the world’s spinning dance

or choose to engage in its games


First, I will weave you the softest shirt

from the hair of innocent boys

stitched with sinews from virginal nuns

and buttons from teeth of aged maids


Of leather I’ll take and tan it fine

to make you the softest trews

supple it is from the backs of young men

who believed that the world was theirs


Of shoes, my dear, sturdy soles you’ll need

and your granny will be a good fit

Seasoned with life and thickened with wine

her entrails will cushion your feet


Your splendor will shine in a stately robe

bedecked with fur, jewels and gold

For that I have dug deep in the earth

pulled wealth from the beds of the dead


But the best I save for last, my boy

to secure your unending rule

I will scoop your guts and scrape you clean

seal organs and eyes in glazed jars


With glass you will see future and past

packed cotton to make your limbs firm

You will rule the world till the end of time

and I shall watch and lead by your side

Would you like another?

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Where Are You Going?

Poetry by Ai Jiang.

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