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February 22, 2019
What if in fact Potemkin built real towns,
but sailed his empress Catherine instead
past those facades for which he's more renowned,
erected proud along the river’s edge,
and wooed her thus not as befits a queen
but any girl he wanted to impress
with picnics where the Dnieper laps pristine
flood meadows with intent and tenderness,
and beached their boat beneath cascading willows,
served her champagne, caviar and dates,
and lay, caressed by wavelets in the shallows
with her, far removed from cares of state?
For any mighty fool can relocate
a bunch of scurvy settlers from the east –
it takes a rarer talent to create
the perfect backdrop for a royal tryst.
The beauty of Potemkin villages
is you can visit when – with whom – you wish,
and no one’s lurking in the shadows as
a prince and empress steal a real kiss.

First published in This Quieter Shore, a Stickleback micro-collection, 2018
One Comment leave one →
  1. Richard permalink
    May 21, 2019 12:24 am

    good stuff here

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