The Empress in her rags on the packed-earth path up
the snow-covered mountain
without a plan
turns from the gray shale slopes.

Below is the green world and cities
that are her inheritance.
She notices for the first time
the small periwinkle flowers
peeking between stones.

She breathes and puts down one of the rocks
from her pack
in trade.

She thinks about the snow above
and does not shiver.

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