A Mere Puff of Smoke

Once upon a time, when I was a girl,

I dreamed of being a princess, beautiful

and fair – far better than everyone else.

And I longed for my Prince Charming – he who

would save me from this simple life the world

threatened me with – common, vulgar, average.

But there are no magic pumpkins, no glass

slippers, no beautiful balls to attend.

I’m not a princess and never will be.

And you – you think you are dashing, charming,

a gallant knight in shining bright armor.

You thirst for adventure, you long to save

the damsel fair from her ivory tower.

You dream of her most beautiful of all.

You want a love the fairy tales worship.

But there are no ivory-entrapped walls

or fiery dragons of old to vanquish.

You are no prince and never will be.

You will not concede defeat – you will fight.

You will battle imaginary foes,

search for thousands of fire-breathing dragons

and find serpents behind mere puffs of smoke,

slay empty suits of dented, scratched armor –

all in honor of she who might not be.

But not so long ago I locked away

my crown in a box of foolish, sweet dreams.

I am no princess and never will be.

I am common and I am poor – simple.

There is no fairy godmother for me,

for cruel Reality holds me captive

in his tower of broken hearts, empty vows,

and the bitterness of a hurting world.

I wish you could rescue me, be my prince,

But your enemies are mere puffs of smoke –

the walls that hold me are unseen by you –

and you are not the savior that I need.

[Almaty, Kazakhstan]

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