Pair of Queens

Although I have

a fine sensibility

for tradition,

honor and luxury,

I make a choice,

having seen two

queens approaching their

respective one hundredth


One in a palace

with a crown,

surrounded by pomp

and circumstance,

protected and revered

and another

wearing a babushka

in a damp cellar

hiding from the bombs,

illuminated by a candle,

accompanied only by

her daughter who swears,

“You will live to be one

hundred. I swear.”

Two regal women.

One in Buckingham.

The other in Mariupol.

Perhaps they are

the same. Perhaps

they are created

equal in the eyes

of God. First let me

carry a crown into the

basement for one to

wear, then a worn out

scarf for the other

to wear upon

the throne.