by Marybeth Rua-Larsen
With the lip-smacking lust of the uncomplicated,
she’s been judged on appearances, blamed and debated.
Did she speak much too freely as history suggests?
Or did tail-waggers drool as they crossed their own chests?
Was it Henry’s diseases? His syphilis and his gout?
He was less than clear-headed, his judgment fed doubt
as the males in our species fight long to live on
through their sons (not their daughters—though both rule with brawn).
In the end she still praised him, kept the future queen safe,
and he sharpened the sword so the blade wouldn’t chafe.