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In truth, I was not born to royalty;
My power came from pleasure and my smile.
I used my supple body to beguile
A bookish, awkward prince who spoiled me
And I became “Great Lady.” Other wives
And concubines he kept conveniently
Could never breach the deep affinity
Between us, or the love that bound our lives.
He gallivanted after a new star
And wanted me to be part of the chase.
I jostled in my litter to that place,
A stable, where I witnessed the bizarre:
I saw three silk-clad kings kneel in the straw
Before an infant and young girl, in awe.

—Mary-Patrice Woehling

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