Achilles, Aeneas, Arthur
stride through their stories,
swords ready, in command.

You smile from the sidelines,
accustomed to a lesser role,
defined by eyes, lips, hair.

When, rarely, the tale is yours,
you quest through its chapters
for a man to complete you.

Stop. Write your own scenes.
Speak to the bit-part players,
the cook, the cleaning woman.

Look past stock phrases,
their rosy apple cheeks,
their work-roughened hands.

Pull up a bench by the fire.
Ask where they came from,
where they want to go.

Share food, laughter, chores.
Friendship beats courtship.
Be happy before ever after.

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