The stoned streets curved inward
Toward iron gates:
Cloaked in dusk she crept upward
Against windows stuffed with lamplight
And roofs patched with crows.
The castle stood against ruffled clouds.
As the world billowed around her
She kept hands in pockets,
Feet on cobbles.
The gates stood firm against her way,
Within their shelter the King lay.
His lies had set his feet in stone,
His golden gyred Queen was gone,
He howled for young Miss Renard’s head,
Caught with Morpheus in his bed,
He flung her to the dirty ground,
Called her a whore and broke her sound,
Had his court denounce her words,
Cast her off but had in mind
A pantomime of borrowed parts,
About a fox with many hearts,
Some of steel, some of jam
Who in the name of pain and art
Used her blood as crimson paint.
Renarde slunk back to her nest,
And dreamt up poisons in her rest,
Stored them up in diamond jars
And retraced her battered steps.
The back door advertised
‘Kitchen hand – part time, reward rates.’
A fox faced girl, medium build,
‘You’ll sweep the kitchen, empty bins
And prepare food for his Majesty.
No shirking. Aprons over there.’
Poison percolated whispered now,
She slipped it in the golden ale,
Served with ice, drunk in haste,
The King lay dead upon the floor,
The clock beat out his last gasps,
Glass shards swam in bubbled fluid,
The dog licked at a cold hand.
Miss Fox faded out of sight,
Cloak brushing cold cobbles.
The fox within me lives.
We acknowledge the Ngunnawal and Ngambri people, who are the Traditional Custodians of the land on which Woroni, Woroni Radio and Woroni TV are created, edited, published, printed and distributed. We pay our respects to Elders past and present and emerging. We acknowledge that the name Woroni was taken from the Wadi Wadi Nation without permission, and we are striving to do better for future reconciliation.