Mordred to Arthur
Jessica J. Lee
jei did it

I am watching my hand as I write this letter,
from bastard son to shameful father,
and I'm gripping the quill so my fingertips whiten
and my penmanship trembles the tiniest bit.
Were you as pale and shaky
when you cast me into the sea?
A boy-king you were, weren't you, hardly a man,
wracked perhaps with guilt and grief,
or caring nothing, with no remorse.
Did you know me when you saw me?
Did you see you in my face?
Your blood in my veins, your flesh on my bones...
it makes me want to take steel to my skin,
to pour steaming crimson over the ground.
I hate you for letting her take me—need I say her name?—
for letting her keep me in the cold and dark
twisting my mind and bending my heart,
ruining my soul and making me hers-her creature, Father, not yours,
to be used against you in your weakest hour.
I hate you for being the sun, for glorying in light
when I can only be the moon and rot in darkness.
You are my father. I am your son!
Must one mistake keep you from me? Can you never
say my name and smile with pride?
Can you not bear to stand up and say, "Here is your prince. Here is my son."?
Your people adore you, hold you in reverence
equal to that of the gods'.
"Artos," they call, "Arthur! High King of our land,
bless our children, bless our crops. Goddess bless you, Very King."
From your queen to your soldiers to the peasants on the road; they all of them
hold you dear in their hearts...
And I hold you in mine, nestled beside the cankerous growth
of bitter resentment that the lack of your light planted in me.
I love you. I loathe you.
My sleep is haunted by wistful dreams
of the day I can cry, "I, Mordred, I, Medraut, I am the son of King Arthur of Camlann."
And in my dreams you look upon me and there is no fear in your eyes.
The weight of your shame and regret is gone from your shoulders
as you hold out your arms to me, laughing.
And then when I wake with wet cheek to wet pillow
I hate myself and my weakness,
turn dry eyes to the sun,
and count down
the days to
the end.