I awake in my bed in a familiar place,
surrounded by a canopy of gold.
The bed is made of the finest wood,
I expect the best, if the truth be told.
A figure enters in priestly vestments,
then bows, this man of faith.
His words are carefully crafted,
he says Your Majesty, Henry VIII.
I walk through the corridor in purple robes.
a musician dances and plays the violin.
A lady approaches with tears in her eyes,
it’s my unfaithful wife Queen Anne Boleyn.
She kneels and begs forgiveness for her life,
should I grant her leniency or not?
Will she be given a divorce and set free,
or be killed, leaving her corpse to rot?
The Privy Council asks me questions,
about my treasonous wife in the Tower.
I must decide if she will live or die,
God has given me ultimate power.
I leave the room with no regret,
for I have ordered her execution,
But by mercy I forbid her burning,
offering beheading as a substitution.
As I prepare to retire for the night,
the chancellor hands me the warrant of death,
I affix my signature for Anne’s beheading,
her daughter is now a bastard; poor Beth.
Tomorrow will terminate this terrible marriage,
a final chapter in this extended nightmare.
Only one more day remains of her life,
a fitting end to this cursed love affair.
The next day I awaken early,
but this is not my chamber or bed.
I’m in the filthy Tower of London,
adorned in a dress colored red.
There are guards surrounding me,
as I make my way down the last stair.
I hear a mob cheering loudly,
Only a few dare say it’s unfair.
People are calling me a traitor,
one claims that I committed adultery.
I hear someone say the name Anne,
compounding my horror, a terrible discovery.
The executioner is sharpening his sword,
as he stands on the podium above.
The people shout terrible things,
saying I’ve violated the kings love.
It is at this defining moment,
that any sane person would dread.
I have become Queen Anne Boleyn,
and now I must give up my head.
I’m groggy coming out of a deep sleep,
the crowd is referring to me as a coward.
Relegated to some type of purgatory,
On the chopping block, I’m Catherine Howard.
#History #royalty #satire #fiction #poetry #England #justice #murder
Poem by David Andre Davison