The Queen of All Snow
by John Borneman


 

She is Sally Louise,

Queen of all Snow,

her Demesnes defined by her fur-covered bower on the right,

and her magic glass portal before her.

To the left, the Land of Fallen Leaves,

and behind her the entry to

The Place Where Monsters Live.

 

The Queen of All She Sees,

little Sally Louise,

feels her stomach rumble

and barks a command

"Bring me a feast. Fit for a Queen."

 

So her friend and companion, brave Sir Bear,

Commander of the Royal Hunt,

trundles off and returns with a flank of wild stale bread

roasted just the way she likes.

 

The Snow Queen,

Mistress of  Fear and Apprehension.

approaches her magic glass portal,

covered as usual in icy dendrites,

and looks for her daily Vision of the Future.

 

She whispers her question to the Portal,

furiously rubbing its frosty surface

with her torn mitten, made of the finest wools and laces,

hoping that this time it would comply to her command

 

"Show me . . . tomorrow!"

 

The Snow Queen,

princess of Lost Hope and Snow Flakes

that fall and fall and fall between the cracks in the ceiling,

covering her Land

dampening her royal robes,

realizes that once again she has failed to bend the glass portal to her will,

and upon gazing into its depths,

finds only today.

 

The fair Queen of Snow,

Empress of the Icicle Forest,

Commander of All is Not Lost,

shivers.

She is unable to stop her teeth from chattering.

 

So brave Sir Bear tumbles into the Forest of Fallen Leaves

and returns, wrapping her in petals of soft aspen and warm oak.

 

She was Sally Louise,

the Queen of Snow and Dread

until one day the magic glass portal

cleared just a bit

from a blast of warm air that rose up from the behind her

from the Place Where Monsters Live.

 

A dark Shadowed-Shape

loomed above,

growling and cursing,

telling her be quiet bitch or you die.

 

Whereupon, Sir Bear,

with no regard for his own safety,

leapt in front of his Queen

but was cast aside,

shattering the glass of her portal

letting in a gust of cold north wind

that raised the gooseflesh

on her wispy-haired arms.

 

He grabbed her by the neck,

raised her off the wooden floor,

tossed her onto the blanketless bed,

stripped her of her robes,

wherein she passed into a snowless nightmare.

 

Sally Louise,

pulls her t-shirt back on,

crawls out from bed

and tiptoes across the room

feet sticking to the icy floor,

where she finds her small stuffed bear

under a strand of peeling flower-print wallpaper

next to a rusty bucket.

 

She walks to the broken window

shivering in its icy breath

and mumbles a faint hopeless wish,

and outside she sees . . .

 

Tomorrow.

 

Standing at the front door,

his  badge gleaming,

his gun half-drawn,

 

questioning the shadowed monster about the broken window

and screams overheard by a neighbor,

asking about a missing

Queen of All Snow.

 

 

About the Author:

John Borneman writes poetry and fiction covering an eclectic range of topics from "home town" to science fiction and fantasy. He has been published in venues such as Star*Line, Raven Electrick, The Magazine of Speculative Poetry, and Dark Poets Against Abuse. John has had poetry nominated for the Science Fiction Poetry Association's Rhysling Award. His web site is at http://brassman.xtra-rant.com.



 


Poem 2008 John Borneman.