Saturday, January 25, 2014

Month of Poetry #25: Cinderella

Today's challenge on Month of Poetry was to write a multi-verse haiku series retelling a fairytale. We were encouraged to take on Rapunzel, but I decided instead to address Cinderella. This is the result.

my story begins
with the trope of the absent -
or, in this case, dead -

mother. I, the babe
left behind; hapless father
sought a replacement

which, as it turned out,
was not the happiest of
decisions for me

although it is still
not clear, to me, why anyone
would hate a baby

I did not ask to
be prettier than they are
or cleverer; why

should her resentment
of my moony skin
my honeyed silk hair

force me to my knees
scrubbing stones in dark silence -
is this not my house?

of course, it all changed
when my godmother, she
of the wild magic

befrilled me for the
ball; riding in a pumpkin
is something to try

here is a strange thing -
my stepsisters, I saw then,
are not quite ugly

just plain, in fact, and
perfectly able, left alone,
to find rich owners

but she wanted more
she wanted to sell to the
highest possible

disturbing, really,
how much of a commodity
even beloved

girls become. I
danced strategically, of course,
I spotted the prize

marriage is better
than cleaning toilets for free
(mostly, anyway)

and if you wondered -
yes, I got my house back again
rank has privileges

and my stepsisters
are quite pleasant, now, wedded
to a baker, floury

and sweet, in one case,
and off travelling the world,
as an acrobat

in the other. I
have plans, for this ever after
I don’t aim to settle

for “happily”, when
that just means owned by some man
I’d rather “busy”

and “fierce”, and also “kind”
as I become the princess
of my own dreams.

- Kathy, 25/1/14

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