A CHILD DECIDES HE WANTS TO BE KING

 

i am 7 but i think in pictures

older than caves. when snow moves

like crumpled notes falling onto the prison yard

i can feel that movement in my head somewhere. 

talking like this, the way i talk, makes me strange. 

my father wonders if i am gay. he says i’m too young

to know what it means but i guess it’s about love

and the pain of love. 

 

one day i will ask my father if he loves me

but i shall wait until i am king;

dressed in heavy gowns made by the people. 

i’ll have my father summoned to the court.

perhaps he will think it silly to bow to me. 

i will ask him if he loves me before sending him to the tower

with unbuttered bread and a stone jug of milk. 

 

tomorrow there will be rain. i am so thin

i sometimes get lost in it. 

people lose me in rain. 

when i am king i will never be lost

or lose myself as i sometimes do in sad thoughts. 

all sadness will be banished by decree. 

i will paint my face like my mother’s 

and tell the people to be kind to animals. 

 

my father will die at the top of the tower. 

it will be known as Father’s Room. 

the tourists with their little back packs 

will visit in groups of four

and eat sandwiches where my father’s body stopped. 



 

Eugene O'Hare is an author based in London. His plays are published by Methuen.