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.
Sean Lause teaches courses in The American Short
Story, Literature and the Absurd, and Literature and the Holocaust at Rhodes
State College in Lima, Ohio. His poems
have appeared in The Minnesota Review,
The Alaska Quarterly, The Beloit Poetry Journal, Another Chicago Magazine, The
Pedestal, European Judaism, The Atlanta Review and Poetry International.