“We don’t speak unless we are spoken to,”
I say, firmly, one raised brow. “And we don’t turn
our backs to the Queen.” My brothers believe
my refined umbrage at their rudeness.
“We’ll miss her when she is on her throne,”
they confess to my mother, and one asks,
“How do you become a queen?”
“She’ll have to marry a king,” my mother declares,
although she could just as easily have
opted the way of my father’s bloodline,
the Stuart Scots, “She’ll have to kill
her cousin.” Casually cutting my quest
for boundaries and respect
marriage or murder
the only choices she could see.
And now she looks up startled
from her murder mystery
as I tell my grandchild, “You simply claim
your birthright. You step to your full glory.”
Relaxed in my queendom like the Empress,
having sent four emissaries to the borders
in a clear, resounding no. Crowning
my emotions with the Queen of Cups.
All the growing things I nurture
through the Queen of Wands.
As much wealth as I can summon
as the Queen of Pentacles, and as
the Queen of Swords, who’s summoned
Sekhmet and Hathor, fiercely
feminine, I brandish my pointed
no. There is a hallelujah chorus
singing through the intricate
pattern of my lineage
as I remember to reach back
through the ever-present now
whispering into the ear of the sad
little girl rising through the chaos
You are a Queen, my darling,
chin up, stand tall, emerging
here we rule together.
I stretch my bones and open
this container to hold more
and more essential pieces
integrating my radiance.
And you look past this easy-
going smile and stop
at the steel resolve
forged in the love
I merit and give myself
unstinting, even as my
strong no lands in you.