The Princess and the Pea

Paul Muldoon

This is no dream
By Dulac out of the Brothers Grimm,
A child’s aloof disquiet,
Her impish mouth,
The quilt upon embroidered quilt
Of satin and shot silk,
Her lying there, at several removes,
Like cream on milk.

This is the dream of her older sister,
Who is stretched on the open grave
Of all the men she has known.
Far down, something niggles. The stir
Of someone still alive.
Then a cry, far down. It is your own.