Never before has she danced so well.
Now she stands before him, her feet bare,
Anklets lightly jangling,
Veils rasping with each gasp of breath,
Head bowed, submissive
Though inwardly she exults. The king, after-dinner expansive,
Says she can name her price
And, as instructed, she asks for his head.
On a charger, the story says.
From a Middle English word for a large flat dish
Used to carry a large joint of meat.
On a platter, we would have it.
Beverley Bie Brahic, from Against Gravity, Worple Press, 2005.
With thanks to Worple Press.
Sculpture by Colin Mallett.