• Vol. 10
  • Chapter 02

Joust

It was a mistake:
Father could demand
I appear as a knight,
but that did not
guarantee I would
or could perform like one.

Certainly, I could ride.
I had been trained.
I could even manage
a lance, but barely.
And why? Why bother?
That is what I always
thought: To what end
all this manly fuss?

But when young Richard,
whom I adored, got wind
of my feelings for him,
he went to my father
and proposed this sport.
Father, being, oh, so kingly
agreed. What a wonderful
opportunity for his little
prince to perform, to prove
his mettle, to show himself
worthy of throne and crown.

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Joust

Why could Richard not
simply have refused the offer
to be my bedfellow—to share
the prince's chamber. I knew
he was not inclined to such
sport. I simply wanted to lie
beside him, to admire him,
to draw him close to me.

Now he is overthrown.
Not by any malice
on my part. But simply
through my inept handling
of horse and lance.

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