If I were a princess, a grand duchess like the rest,
Plucking rounds and diamonds from the lining of my dress,
Would you say to me in Russian, "Little faker, fair of face,
Prove to me you're royal," with your hands beneath the lace?
If I had a little derringer tucked within my clutch,
If my ribboned wrists hid poison pills, cyanide and such,
Would you take them from me, one by one, a sweet preserving djinn,
Then trail the feathers from my hat along my lamp-warmed skin?
Raven-haired Inquisitress, who takes the truth by kiss,
Can you believe confessions you have won from me like this?
Sweetheart, I surrender; adoring you I fall,
And any other claims I made, matter not at all.
A princess poem for Real Toads mini-challenge.
The vintage photo is of Maria Doro, silent era actress, 1909.
A little bit of background: In 1920, a woman was hospitalized in Berlin following a suicide attempt. She claimed to be the Russian Grand Duchess Anastasia, who was presumed executed with her entire family by the Communists in 1918. Her claim gained attention, and even some Romanov relatives believed she was indeed Anastasia, despite the fact that she did not speak Russian! The case remained a mystery for decades until modern DNA tests proved that the woman, Anna Anderson, could not have been the late Grand Duchess.