Elizabeth to Mary

Day 12
Poem 12

Today I wanted to use a historical prompt from Apiary, so I pulled out Sovereign Ladies by Maureen Waller and reread “Two Queens in One Isle,” the chapter about Elizabeth I and Mary Stuart. I will probably change the title.

Trigger warning: mentions of rape

Elizabeth to Mary

“And then the Queen could not but marry him, seeing he had ravished her and lain with her against her will.” – Sir James Melville

It could have been me
awake in the dark wishing
I could run. How easy.
I am no stronger than her,
no smarter. All I am
is lucky. It could have
been me, dress torn and body
no longer quite my own, me
with the wild crowd staring,
shouting out their accusations,
asking what fatal mistake
I made, how I called this
upon myself. It could have been
me, my carefully crafted world
collapsing beneath the weight
of one man. Me, bleeding alone.
Me, not me anymore, carrying
something broken.


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