We Met in Dragon Shadow

Here’s a poem of mine which appeared in ASIM in 2014!

“We Met in Dragon Shadow”
by Penny Stirling

The first kiss is a fleeting duty
on my cheek burned and sooty.
“Thank you,” she says, “mighty sir—”
But then I remove my armour.

Although the fight was my conquest
the dragon’s sullied the success.
My gryphons are dead, my magics blown.
Princess and I have a long walk home.

The second kiss is a secret thing
when she thinks I am sleeping.
Next meal I sit close, hand on her thigh.
Though she blushes she does not shy.

Beneath our feet the miles unfurl.
Princess gains blisters and muscle.
Halfway there we miss the wedding date;
smiling, she tells me it’s fate.

The third kiss is a royal request.
With tongue on my breast
and fingers at my cleft
she claims me annexed.

She speaks of “us” and veering off track.
Surely she’s thought dead; why go back?
So far our trek’s been gentle adventure
but my life can’t charm a princess forever.

The next kisses are how we chart
intimacy of each other’s heart.
Once knight and escort, this mercenary
is now friend and love of a queen-to-be.

As her betrothed’s home looms closer
our bond grows fast, our pace slower.
We’ve a lifetime of talk, touch and sighs
to share before our goodbyes.

The last kiss is my heart breaking
on her hand gloved and shaking.
“Thank you,” she says, “gallant maid.”
And I wait for the warmth to fade.

I’m cursing my reward near to town
when an ex-princess chases me down.
We embrace and plan: first an egress,
our future, a home, and kisses countless.

Originally published in Andromeda Spaceways Inflight Magazine #60, September 2014