My master is old, decrepit.
The brave knight of fifty years before
is condemned to history.
He’s slain no dragons lately.
Nor fought in battle.
And he can no longer lift a jousting lance.
I have to lead him like a dog
to his daily summit meeting with the crapper.

His fair lady is now a wrinkled hag.
She’s been locked in the tower for years.
Of his three children,
both boys died in wars against the French
and the daughter married into Raritarian royalty.
And King Lazlo and his ugly breed
have barely a pot to piss in.
He lives off a small military pension
which affords him half a quail a month
and a tankard of beer.
I invested my coins wisely in alternative energy –
dragon’s breath as it turns out –
so I am the one who supports the household.
The truth is I am the master now.
But I keep that to myself.

My master will be dead soon, I’m sure.
Creepy second cousins
have been paying him visits,
imagining they’ll inherit

his castle and lands.
I admit that the accommodations provided
for them are dire.
But, luckily, the dungeon chains are still utile
though the damp, dark rooms
are rife with rats.
There’s not enough rat poison
to go around, you see.
What we have is needed
for these moneygrubbers’ meals.

The golden age of knighthood
will never return to these lands. .
I’ve no wish to revive it
Once the master’s gone,
I’ll sack the servants,
maybe torch milady,
and convert this place
into a retirement home for feckless royalty
and displaced gentry.
One cannot continue to live in the past.
At least, not once I’ve subdivided it.


John Grey is an Australian poet, US resident, recently published in Stand, Washington Square Review and Rathalla Review. Latest books, “Covert” “Memory Outside The Head” and “Guest Of Myself” are available through Amazon. Work upcoming in the McNeese Review, Santa Fe Literary Review and Open Ceilings.


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