(and the WYPOD)
“A pony, a pony, my kingdom for…” Of course,
he didn’t want a pony. He was losing the battle
and the kingdom’s sceptre is not a baby’s rattle
to be tossed aside, even for the fastest horse.
Ponies and palfreys are not for kings. A princess
may ride a pony, and a side saddle, fit for a queen,
may grace a horse’s back, but a horse between
a princess’ legs is crass. How cramped the dress,
how wrinkled the nobleman’s brow seeing
his daughter, his wife, the female of the breed
straddling, legs apart, a broad-backed steed.
No: ponies are for Christmas, not for kings fleeing.
A horse, then, hung with bells, covered in red:
not with ribbons, but the old king, flayed and dead.