Sheffield Castle, 1570

Ray Ball


Turn toward
the sun,

The queen of Scots
glances up
then lowers
her gaze again
to the work
of silver
threads she holds
upon her lap.

A treasury of time
in this drafty prison.
A plentitude to pray
and to plot. To sew
the bloom.

The beast.
Such a threat,
this queen,
the Marigold.

She might as well
be a monster
lurking in the depths
of the frigid sea.
Her regnant cousin
a mariner bracing
for the crushing
violence of waves.

Watered with salt
all flowers
will lose
their heads



Ray Ball, PhD, is a history professor who hails from the South but now lives in Alaska. She is the author of two history books, and her creative work has recently appeared or is forthcoming in Cirque, Louisiana Literature, Okay Donkey, and UCity Review. She has been nominated for Best of the Net and a Pushcart. You can find her in the classroom, the archives, or on Twitter @ProfessorBall.