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Queen of Death

By Kelli Devan Edwards

PROMPT — Who am I today?

The Queen of death awaits

Dormant in my bowel.

Bejeweled in a crown of vessels,

Her prerogative

When to drink and grow and blossom.

Yet, she waits, as she knows

It will be her demise

Only once, can you bloom.

Her host treats her with respect,

Knowing her potential,

A sacred balance.

To fall into fear could tip the scales,

The Queen awakened

From her silent slumber.

Once sprouted

Famished tentacles will reach and grab and suck and grow

A frenzy with no regard.

The domain now hers,

While her host observes in paralysis,

And allows the devour

To commence.

After the Queen has drunk her fill,

The two will bow

In respect

To await the end, in peace.

To war with the Queen

Is to war against oneself.

To respect the Queen

Is to be grateful for her slumber,

Tiptoeing quietly, not fearfully.

She is the child of a lifetime of conflict

A natural manifestation.

To revile her is to revile oneself.

To fear her is to give up.

To see her is to respect her.

For now, she sleeps quietly.

For now, the host will live and dance and nourish,

With intrepid fervor.

This is the day to seize, to live, to kiss, to dream…

tomorrow will come tomorrow

Or the day after

Or the year after

Or the decade after.


Kelli Devan Edwards is a writer, public speaker, long-term cancer survivor, and educator. She serves as a mentor, curriculum specialist, and parent liaison. Kelli is a patient mentor for a Los Angeles-based support group for Neuroendocrine cancer. She is the newsletter editor for the Orange County Branch of the California Writers Club. Her writing was published in Guideposts magazine, and her poetry was published in California Writers Club Literary Review (California Writers Club, 2021). Kelli holds a MS in special education from Cal State Fullerton. She lives in Yorba Linda, California with her husband and beloved guinea pig, Bubblegum.


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