She got every single thing she wanted

by avoiding smiling liars like me.

She knew better than to trust these jackals,

with their arrow eyes and teeth like cold air,

with their laughter, their true-sounding laughter,

about lions who didn't make the kill.

The lions, they'd say, don't come until dawn,

long after the last child has been felled,

after the loin is stripped from the giraffe,

and fear cuts time and shows time to fear.

But Elizabeth, when your toast got dull, / and you needed someone to save you, needed / a hand to take the book, you turned, saying, "John."

originally published in Wordriot