the word thief and the last queen


the word thief came for me

not in the night,

but in the rain.


not all stories start equal.


I forged a blade

of words like fairness and compassion and courage,

I forged a blade

to break the word thief’s spellsong,

the song that would steal my words.


lightning and thunder danced on my blade

while I danced in the rain with the word thief.

we danced for a long time, he and I.


not all stories turn out as you expect.


I dropped my shield.

I was tired, for in my shield,

I carried the most precious, heavy words,

the ones he had not taken yet,

the ones I loved most,

the ones that make my blade sing,


the unspoken words.


I begged, I bartered, I ransomed my kingdom

I gave him piles of gleaming, jewelled words

glittering heaps of worth-filled words

rolling hills of words, rich and dark

I gave him all the words I had.


I asked of the word thief in return

to let me keep

the unspoken words,

the ones that are too precious to be uttered,

for they are delicate things of spun gold and laughter and sunlight and-


he took those words first.

he ate them as I watched.


I flew the white flag

but it was too late.


he had taken my words.

the cracked words

the dusty words

the forgotten words

the words of my cobbled streets, the words that remember.


even my secret words of fire and frost and blood and ash,

he took those.


he took all my words,

and left me


a broken blade,

an empty kingdom.


Not all stories end the way they should.




Image by Francisco Antunes