Highland Queen

Peter Richards

In 1929 that year’s Highland Queen was forced to appear as herself during the parade. She wept openly and braided her hair with bonds left from the Great War. I have it right here along with a clipping of her father bearing down on a pike. Imagine a thimble full of mud, only smaller, and with no mud. Imagine a barker whose convoy of figurines all vie for the voices in your head. Still you would not have it— not the cobblestones whispering to each other, not the word vassal given its own place setting. By the end each halo made for a malevolent letter C positioned undine so that firemen could peer down into his daughter. In this photo you can see how her short history of summer loves left him feeling ribbed and angry. In this one they both appear to be not actually fishing. Here he seems to be looking past the parade and into the mantle where the day’s hot sun simmers inside. He’s thinking there is no holy night nor split in the calf’s hoof where forgiveness seeps through disguised as the cold.