By: Renee Y. Brown
No Sleeping Beauty would I be,
Even if I could, not me.
I’ll never be found
In a fortress of stone,
My only hope
Some princely dope.
My sleep is wild in fitful dreams
Of strange images and outrageous themes
Bizarre and funny—to extremes.
Is not for me.
Why, I’d punch him in the face
If some prince without consent did place
His lips on mine
While I’m supine
The uninvited swine!
“It’s not me you’re looking for,
“Get out, get out,” and I’d lock the door.
But none would come for me anyway —
I’m no beauty, no princess, not locked away
A helpless damsel-in-distress
Luring them with loveliness
Waiting for a kiss,
Stuck in that fortress
No, no, not I
Let Sleeping Beauties lie —
Pass by, pass by
Wild and free —
Surrounded by my books and manuscripts
The ones I’ve read, the ones I’ve written
By learning and knowledge
Consumed, incited, smitten
Than any handsome paramour
Or other distracting partnerships
Whose presence would eclipse
My work, my search
To learn, to know
As much that there is and more.
The king, the prince, their ministers
With all the knowledge of the wise
I’ve gleaned from years of experience
In life, research, and common sense
And yet the prince, the royal buffoon,
Chooses a wife
For the size of her shoe!
Beautiful and petite
Cinderella is nothing more
Than a fetching appearance
And the tiniest feet!
I’ve taken this nation
From war to peace,
To prosperity and freedom
And now the king’s son
All my work to be undone
For the prince’s fetish
Who will be his princess bride
And someday, queen
To rule over us, direct and guide
The fate of our people and our nation
With no more knowledge or realization
Than her shoe-size!
I shake my head, I sigh
Take off my spectacles
Rub my eyes
I won’t leave my destiny
To a shallow prince and his brainless bride
I’m packing up, moving on
Let Cinderella buy her shoes
While the country dies,
Not I –
Pass by, pass by
And weep for the land
That a tiny foot
Snow White waits
For her prince to bring the kiss of life,
To awaken her and make her his wife.
But I am a warrior for the Queen
Old Crone of Wisdom
Mistress of Magic
And the prince’s enemy —
It is She
And in me.
Many years ago I passed through that dark and dreary forest
Where Snow White was said to lie,
With stealth and sword unsheathed
I made my way
Through the acrid mist and knotted twist
Of vines and thicket
Densely intertwined —
Until, hacking away, my sword did hit and ring
Upon some other thing, not wood
I cut away the tangled roots and vines
And to my astonishment did find
The princess thus entombed —
Encased in glass like a prized antique
Sealed away like a treasure cache,
All alone in her coffin home.
Her beauty perfectly preserved
At its peak
Of youthful loveliness undisturbed
By the passage of time.
Untouched by anyone at all
Flesh silky and fine
Like a priceless doll,
Her face frozen like a mask
As though cast
In porcelain, or wax.
Still waiting for her prince’s kiss to be freed,
Oh, Snow White she was indeed,
With skin pale as a fresh corpse
Face smooth and unblemished
By line or spot or furrowed brow
Or any evidence at all
That it had ever laughed, or cried, or even been
The hardened heart of a soldier
And I thought of breaking the glass and setting her free,
But living in reality
Her pristine beauty —
Lest a wrinkle spoil her chance
For her prince’s love
And storybook romance.
Let beauty-in-death lie,
Pass by, pass by,
Leave her be
And thus did I.
She lies there still,
Embraced by silence
Like a shroud.
Renee Y. Brown writes fiction and poetry. She is a native of Los Angeles lost in Dallas trying to find her way home to New Mexico. She is currently completing a novel set in 1984 in ‘the old neighborhood’ which is now the junction of the San Diego and Century Freeways near LAX. Her Linked-In page is: http://www.linkedin.com/profile/view?id=19579475&trk=tab_pro
Renee Y. Brown- A trio of unexpected Fairy Tales