Monday, June 8, 2015

East of the Sun

I heard a woman say,
“I won’t let my daughter read
fairy tales,”
And other chimed in with,
What do they teach, really
Cinderella let herself
be abused, had to be
Belle married a kidnapper
gave up her dreams
Sleeping Beauty slept through
her own story.
I sat on my hands,
bit my tongue to hold in the words
red as blood, white as bone, black as ink.
Have you ever sat down with Grimm,
Calvino, Moe, Lang, Perrault in your lap
and read a fairy tale?
Look at these girls, women,
spanning centuries
passed down over fires
fire-filled themselves.
With names or without,
they last, beautiful as the moon
inside and out.
Isn’t that what these stories teach?

For a moment, close your eyes
hold the book in your hands,
fat cracking leather
cloth binding worn away
paper spine bent double,
and listen to the stories.
Older than ink, but younger
barely, than imagination.

Listen to the stories of
Perina, braving three rivers
blood, bile, and brine
for the sake of her own name
and oath.

Cinderwretch, breaking the cycle
of cruelty and letting herself
love fierce and free
and be loved again.

Gerda, who , seeing a frozen heart
melts it with the heat
of her tears,
half frozen herself.

Beauty, her own antagonist
but true to her word
as friendship blooms
like little-linda roses.

The Lass, who holds her own destiny
in her hands like a candle dripping wax
and walks, head high

East of the sun.

1 comment:

  1. Fairy tales are awesome! There's always more than one way to interpret them. I actually have a poem of "East of the Sun" on my blog.