The mirror has always been merciless-
a wicked stepmother glaring
her reflection back at her, snarling:
no fair, no fair.
And that means something.
Gets her story headed off
in a direction that is difficult
to revise. It requires her,
too often, to eat her own words,
compose a smile to camouflage
the envy she is
ashamed to acknowledge,
though it stares her in the face
each time she faces the fairest –
their dumb luck mirroring
her own lack of it,
and always striking her
dumb. But never blind.
RUMPELSTILTSKIN ON MTV
He wanted that baby so bad,
he says, he could hardly wait
for its head to crown.
He grabbed it straight
from its mother’s womb, snipped its cord
swaddled it in blankets, and ran
out of that birthing room, right
into a waiting limo, the infant still sticky,
with afterbirth and gurgling for a breast.
Oh, the prized possession of a child
to call his own child, a child to call
him daddy, as he never could his own,
to dangle before the eyes of his admirers,
his adoring fans, who swoon at the mere sight
of him, cheer his every move.
No Midas. No Charming. But the Prince of Pop
walled-in to a self-made Neverland, with no hapless maiden
to help him spin this last straw into solid gold.
WOMAN COMMITS SUICICE
WALKING NAKED THROUGH BLIZZARD
First – Chill – then Stupor – then the letting go.
Not many have known cold
as I have known it.
The shock of ice on the bare
soles of my feet. The delicate stab
of sleet on my breasts and belly.
Miles from any shelter
I found myself here
in the perfect stillness
of this clearing in the pines
where I discarded pain
like a useless, worn-out
garment and laid down
like a child making an angel
in fresh fallen snow.
And then I rose up
from that depression
in the landscape into a strength
that kept me going, stumbling
forward toward a distant light
that glowed like the rest of my life.