A sonnet for C. S. Lewis’ The Horse and His Boy
Rash Rabadash, the selfish son of sin,
brat of the Tisroc, and spoiled Lasaraleen,
you both know little better than how to preen
your peacock’s feathers and your ass’s grin.
You are the same as you have ever been:
determined to live just like a king and queen,
no matter who gets in your way. You’re mean.
Whenever you seek love, you play to win
both wealth and beauty, maddened when you lose–
unthinkable! Your privilege? No, your right–
or so you say. Until you see the One
more rightly ruler than you come for His dues,
more beautiful than you for your delight.
He has not played your games, but He has won.
Once more, somebody’s nearness can’t help but flush
the hormones from their hiding like a flood.
Eye candy, too, leads to a sugar rush,
a stirring up of all that’s in the blood.
Sweet child, attraction, takes me by the arm,
begging to play right when I need to work.
When I, still smiling, brush away its charm,
it leans in closer with a winning smirk.
Infatuation is a tickle-fight –
although I beg for mercy, it’s through tears
of laughter I would carry on all night
were there no pain left when it disappears.
All these ways he’s led an unconscious assault,
left me breathless and too giddy to find fault.
Layer after layer I peel off with this claw.
I dig in, rip the hard, exterior shell.
The gooey, sticky, scaly, hanging, raw
flesh burns, exposed to air, a sickening smell.
There lies my dragon-skin. What’s this? Below
another layer of the same appears.
There’s hardly been time for one scale to grow!
I tear—the pain now stings like piercing spears.
Again and again I fail. The Lion’s eyes
shame me. “It’s not enough.” He starts to shred.
The pain is paralyzing. My heartbeat dies.
The beast is gone, and every coat is shed.
His paws plunge me in water. I rise man,
but cleaner now than when my life began.