When you see him, they said,
You will know.
You will know by his eyes.
I understand what they mean
When I first see his green-grey eyes
So startlingly different from my brown ones.
My heart tells me he is the one.
I bend down to caress him,
His knobby chin, his squashy nose.
He turns his gaze at me, and I can resist no more.
I turn to kiss him —
First on his lips.
But that seems too intimate
For someone I have met just a second before.
So I settle for the cheeks
Green, rotund, scaly.
I kiss him once, and twice,
And a tender thrice.
He blinks rapidly,
and lets out a hoarse croak.
I clutch him to me,
But he leaps away to his lair.
Someone drags me home,
I don’t remember who.
“He was not your prince,” they say gently,
And then harshly, and then kindly again.
“He was not my prince,”
I repeat after them,
Willing my heart to believe it.
For a moment it is lulled, numbed, dulled
Perhaps I even accept it for the instant.
But then pipes up an insistent voice —
“He was your prince, he was your prince!
It was just that…
You were not his princess.”
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