The Queen’s Huntsman

The Queen’s Huntsman has bolts of gold, red, and blue
cloth around his quiver of hearts, a crown on his brow
for in truth he is Prince Charming in hiding, and when
he finds the forest thrall girl with flaxen hair, who
grabs his pant legs and sticks out her tongue, giggling
as she makes him the maypole with her hair ribbons, he
catches her as she trips, lifts her up to his shoulders,
her steed through the wood, his charge in the wildlands,
she grows long-limbed and curved like the moon as he
feeds her manna dew and relish wild, honeycomb sweet
and roots and jewel fruits he pares with his hunting
knife – they sit by the campfire as he reads her myths
of a queen who lost her heart to her huntsman, a ruler
with magic but much to lose, including her kingdom to
a jealous deathless sorceror, who cursed her to be no
more than a child, cast her into the dark cursed hills,
and took her throne – in time the queendom forgot her,
and only her huntsman, her knight, her prince remembered,
journeyed into the wilds to find his Belle Dame Sans Merci
and despite the fact she bled thorny fingers on his tongue
just to show how much a woman like a rose owned him, he
saved her anyways, taught her to reign again, for the
witch queen is but a child, then a teenager, now princess
and days in the summer sun grow long, and they have a throne
to reclaim.

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