The Three Misses

By Rhys Hughes

Courtesy: Creative Commons

She was poor and had a hard life
and everything that could
go wrong went wrong, as if Fate
was determined to make her wait
an inordinately long time
for any joy or satisfaction. A toy
of cruel chance,
even when she learned to dance
she remained alone,
nobody’s partner, nobody’s wife
and as a distraction
from her woes she took to driving
traction engines,
the most powerful kind
permitted by law,
one hundred horsepower or more.
One morning in a fog she crashed
into the limousine
of a very wealthy touring man, who
on an ocean cruise
during a storm
had already seen her face
in a dream. He fell in love instantly
despite his bruises.
A misfortune it had been
but her name
soon became Mrs Fortune.


She crashed her biplane
in the depths
of the jungle. Her navigator
had bungled badly
and was beyond help now
but she survived
and began the long trek
home. Through
mountain passes on foot,
across lakes
on improvised rafts,
always alone,
over rotting rope bridges,
braving leopards
and snakes, the censure
of sentient apes,
until she found the lost city
and met the king.
So handsome!
A misadventure it had been
but her name
soon became Mrs Adventure.


Her mind never ran
in parallel with other brains,
her thoughts remained
unique. She would seek
answers to questions
that no one ever asked.
Her daily task was to doubt
ordinary phenomena
and drown out assumptions
with the music of wonder.
She was like Andromeda
but chained to the Strange
instead of a Cliff. A whiff
of magic could be detected
whenever she elected
to reveal her true self. But
then one day she met
an elf: old and wise, he was.
She was right for him,
she fitted in precisely
to his psyche, and his to hers.
Misaligned she had been
for years but her name
soon became Mrs Aligned.

Rhys Hughes has lived in many countries. He graduated as an engineer but currently works as a tutor of mathematics. Since his first book was published in 1995 he has had fifty other books published and his work has been translated into ten languages.


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