The Princess and the Jester

Do you see the African Princess
Just back from visiting the Queen?
She seems rough ’round the edges,
Her attitude’s been dipped in kerosene

There’s a smoothness inside her
That rarely gets let out
The zombies freely criticize her
Without knowing what she’s about

She keeps it all well hidden
From the fools who follow her carriage,
Thinking she’s waste time on them
Or say yes to a proposal of marriage

Her jester knows the secret
But he’s in no position to tell
They’d never believe he had water
Even if he was standing in a well.

With crude jokes and stories
He manages to lift her gloom
While she keeps him happy
Just by being in the room.

She gives him many lessons
About the magical land she calls home
And he spins fanciful yarns
’bout the places a fool is wont to roam.

An enigma in two parts
That even I can’t figure out
Its something special, to be treasured.
Of that there can be no doubt

6-22 August 1995

Note: This was written shortly after Living Life By Candlelight, and can be seen as a sort-of sequel to that poem. The Zulu Princess in Candlelight could be identical to the African Princess here, they were certainly based upon the same person, who was also the subject of Saying Farewell, which was written several months later. – JWL.