Maxine Beneba Clarke

folktale has it

         new arrivals,

they’ll throw any queen

or kingdom

             into spin


angered uninvited guests

will conjure curses


horses are saddled:

messengers dispatched far and wide

to burn the spinning wheels


firstborns, golden

they are worth their wait:


their christened names

secreted away

     lest rumpelstiltskin hear

the whispers


so, the sussex baby’s here:


son of an english prince,

and in his lineage slaves


son of a proud black kween,

and in his lineage masters


the empire has new clothes,

                       that’s what i hear



cause in the end,

     the baby’s just a baby

bringing all the soiled nappies

gummy-smiling, chucking, waking nights

and charming

     even while in tears


no more royalty

than any other born that day


and no less wonder


       that true love has brought to bear

This article was first published in the print edition of The Saturday Paper on May 11, 2019 as "Royal".

A free press is one you pay for. In the short term, the economic fallout from coronavirus has taken about a third of our revenue. We will survive this crisis, but we need the support of readers. Now is the time to subscribe.

Maxine Beneba Clarke is the author of The Hate Race and Foreign Soil. She is a winner of the Victorian Premier’s Literary Award for Poetry.