There are several songs in After the Ruin. Like the map, they’re there to give the impression of a world that is rather larger than the story between the covers of the book. The book was inspired by ballads so it felt right to include them; besides, I like writing verses as much as I do prose.
This one belongs to Imacah. He’s a child of five, singing this in time to his skipping.
Three kings beneath the tree are seen
Of day and night and might have been.
But day and night fill dark and light
There is no time for might have been.
The red king, black king and the green
Say was, was not and might have been.
I know what’s what, I know what’s not,
I’ll never know what might have been.
Three kings beneath the bone-bare tree
Say will, will not and it might be!
If I do what another will not
Can you tell me what might have been?
The three kings are important, of course. Who they are, and which of them – red, black or green – has the last word, is revealed by the end of the book.