wanted Happily Ever After
and they ended up with
no princes, nothing
except for dismemberment
and pecked-out eyes.
Life’s not fair.
How were they to know
that Ella had a fairy godmother
and such small feet
and could talk to animals
and would charm the prince
with the very first waltz?
It’s not enough to want something.
They say fortune favors the bold
but what’s bolder than choosing
to cut off your toes
or your heel
to make your oafish foot fit
into the prince’s favorite shoe?
Everyone has blood on their hands.
But the girl you’ve shoved into the corner
will get the better of you every time
because she doesn’t expect to—
she’s used to the ashes and the chores
and she goes along whistling a happy tune
while the local rodents provide harmony.
You can want something too much.
If you chase your dreams
the way a wolf stalks a lamb
ready to clench them in your teeth
you may find that Fate is a farmer
who has just sharpened the blade of his axe
and wants to make his daughter some fur slippers.