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Saturday, September 10th, 2011

Time Event
8:22p
American Requiem

This poem first appeared in Wicked Karnival Magazine in Sept. 2005 and received a Rhysling Award nomination the following year.

American Requiem
by Stephen M. Wilson

I try to think not of twins or towers

Nor of love’s teardrops that cleared my blind eyes

Try to forget my family’s last sighs

Quash my kingdom’s vertiginous powers

So long soporific now it cowers

Because in the end even magic dies

 

Old Mother Gothel created this bane

Never more to have days of halcyon

O’ cursed be the craving for rampion

It’s enough to drive any man insane

This quest for happiness, always in vain

I tried to be my sweet bride’s champion

 

But one morning the sky opened up

And rained fire on the verdure

Creating this now pernicious war

I dare not drink of this cruel cup

My grim, starling pain it will interrupt

As I tarry at insanity’s door

 

So quietly I turn from them in despair

Those ash covered tombstones with dead flowers

Dim and dreary I count down the hours

And try to forget her now brittle hair

To settle and close the whole sad affair

And walk away from those cherished towers

 

But no sooner am I fairly astray

When I pause to cast one last backwards glance

For I hear a soft voice, her ghost perchance

Calling out my name, pleading that I stay

No it’s just the mournful wind’s howling bay

Reality’s grip has lost its last chance

 

One final time I cry out in despair:

“Rupunzel, Rupunzel, let down thy hair!”

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