“Royal” by Carol Stone


We are one of those long-married couples who do not speak.
Especially after our argument on the train to Brighton, we do not speak.

For the life of me, I can’t read a timetable, while my husband can.
Around us, elderly couples lift pasty faces to sun, and do not speak.

I order Earl Grey with milk and sugar, and crème-filled biscuits.
Reclining on green and white-striped lawn chairs, we still do not speak.

We visit the Royal Palace where King George IV summered.
I wonder if, like exhausted marrieds, kings and queens do not speak.

Among regal objets d’art, were they ever pierced through the heart?
Or suffer emotional pains about which the English do not speak?

I, Carole, an American, understand little of royal restraint.
I am myself a ruined soul, with wild fantasies I do not speak

Ghazal Poet: Carol Stone

Source/Citation: Stone, Carol, “Royal” Agha, Shahid Ali, ed. Ravishing Disunities: Real Ghazals in English. [Middleton, Conn.]: Wesleyan University Press, 2000