The Innisfree Poetry Journal

by Sean Lause

Prince of the Apple Towns


I was a slaughterer of weeds

with my wood sword and plumed hat,

and the whole world was my enemy.


Until the day the weeds lit up

with song, and I dropped my sword

and fell to my knees, wordless.


Then the dry grass glowed gold,

a bell rang in the somewhere distance,

and the air shivered with possibilities.


Each dawn, a new place was holy—

lilac bush, rose, ancient oak,

the crabapple tree, an alley puddle.


All were lit from within,

shimmering with light and love,

awaiting my silent blessings.


My sword seemed clean of its sins.

Now it would ward away dragons, demons,

knights with faces like angry clocks.


I was a prince of a kingdom of light

that spun from the fall of a maple leaf,

and I kept my kingdom well.


Until the day I found no light—

only a distance—the worst—within,

and the cannon of distant thunder.


I lost that prince, who wandered

into night, as gods and boys with

plumes and swords always do.

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