I spent long, keen hours eying the front door
Waiting for commanding, brisk heels to return
From long hours abroad on graft’s isle

On occasion I was favoured an audience at the palace
Where I saw them bowed
Foreheads down, palms up
The monarch and her minions
No, it was never that

This Joan of Arc was a just ruler
Her fiefdom of swivel chairs and sharp paper
Her voice far removed from the corridors of home
The people not sons but colleagues
And I felt crucial, next in line to the throne
A prince among photocopiers and wall-planners

It made it easier to miss her knowing what duty she undertook
She conquered the world for us alone
The pen her sword, her degrees her armour
Holding together two empires with her heart, blood and tears


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