Once upon a time I was—

or was I?

Was it all a dream, or is

that lovely memory lingering

really what it seems to be?

Once upon a time I was—

no, it can't be;

Something so wondrous as

the fantasy flitting,

flickering, between my ears

must not have been so pure.

Once upon a time I felt myself

falling, down into dreaded depths of glory;

those glorious halls of gilded glass

that I dwelled in just days ago.

Once upon a time I was

in control—or was I?

Now the careful walls are cracking,

and though I know I should be able,

the patches and glues seem

a very long way off.

Once upon a time, just like in a fairy tale

I felt sure of this kingdom,

confident in its strength.

Then you came along,

the barbaric invader, cultural emissary,

misled wanderer, charming miscreant,

and shook my beautiful kingdom

to pieces.

Once upon a time,

I would have been glad to meet you,

greeted you at the gates and locked myself out.

But that lovely memory lingering

is now trapped in lingo;

standing on my threshold,

do I push it away for your new world,

or shut myself inside its comfort

and safety?

Once upon a time, I knew;

now, the keys jingle in my shaking hand

staring at the army you,

the enigmatic drifter, commander,

have brought to my door.