There’s no doubt we lived a fairy tale marriage.
Cinderella was my cross-gender avatar. I was
script-flipped when my Princess metamorphosed
into a Stepmother of exquisite wickedness.
We were denied natural offspring, despite wizard visits,
and three clomid wishes. Spouse-cursed, I was demoted
to scullery maid, while favored cats played
the roles of haughty step-daughters.
Each failure to assert a Monarch’s will shrunk
my box’s dimensions. My regretted wedding
web became thickset. My silent compliance
kept a brittle peace, keeping her tongue
banked to a blistering smolder.
My villainess became Sister Grimm for our story,
recasting herself as exasperated mother burdened
by the curse of an idiot boy on her blameless back.
I did make it to The Ball, playing Belle
a time or three, my domestic servitude
broken by flamboyant magic words
from a mortal analog Fairy Godmother.
Evil Stepmom had no comeuppance; she didn’t die,
profiting from happily-never-after as years slip by.
One more bit of trivia: truth be told,
the thing about glass slippers? They’re hard and cold.
Given that my life was built on notions
of reciprocal communication,
a listener would have been convenient,
bordering on essential, one could say.
Would say. Not that self-talk is valueless,
I’d never make that argument. I do
recall witnessing those praying out loud,
seeming quite sincere: not the sort to lie.
Was I seeing polished performances,
or fantasies of fervent moral loons?
Or did God turn his face away from those
predestined to skepticism? I shared
youthful agonies with my creator.
Vacant heavens diffused my stumbling speech.