J. Patrick Lewis


The Ancient Princess

My age? I’ve forgotten. I must look a sight—
My body has shriveled to prunes.
What little I’ve left of my hair has turned white
And I can’t tell the forks from the spoons.

I used to be known as the Belle of the Balls,
When I batted my eyes at the Prince.
But my winters have ruined my frolicsome falls—
I haven’t caught sight of him since.

Age is but a word, not the end of the road,
Though it doesn’t take much, as you see,
To feel like a princess (but look like a toad)
With the other toads taking high tea.

We laugh at the past, the preposterous flings,
The illicit affairs of our youth.
We whisper incredibly scandalous things,
And every so often, the truth.


purpleLJ. Patrick Lewis‘s first book of poems, Gulls Hold Up the Sky (Laughing Fire Press), appeared in October 2010. He has published over 130 verses in Light, as well as poems in Gettysburg Review, New England Review, New Letters, Southern Humanities Review, new renaissance, Kansas Quarterly, Fine Madness, and many others. In May 2011 the Poetry Foundation named him the third U.S. Children’s Poet Laureate (2011-2013). He has published 90 children’s picture books to date with Knopf, Atheneum, Dial, Harcourt, Little, Brown, National Geographic, Creative Editions, Chronicle, Candlewick, Scholastic, and others.