When she was playing in the yard she talked
to someone she imagined by her side:
a soldier or a prince, perhaps, who walked
along with her when she was playing bride.
I stood there, too, but never saw or heard
whoever came between us on the lawn.
One August day he left without a word.
September came; the princess, too, was gone.
But she returned this morning dressed in white,
and I am finally learning to pretend;
for standing right beside her in plain sight
for just a moment I could see her friend:
A prince in full-dress uniform was there,
before my thoughts escaped into the air.
— Stephen Scaer
This poem appears in the August 1 print issue of NR,