The Way It Could Be

When you hear Once Upon A Time,

Your brain sparks with wonder.

There’s so much after those words to discover.

With an evil stepmother, hunter and prey,

A damsel-like princess on perfect display,

There’s no feminist foul,

At least not for the moment

Slip into the story;

Accept simple enjoyment.


We are the princesses,

And we can’t promise good messages;

But we always deliver on the premise of negligence.

We stand without blemishes

On our own similar precipice,

Awaiting the princes to come

And to rescue us.


And we are the princes,

And this isn’t our story.

We have no personality

Only circumstantial apathy

Because our princesses are handed to us magically.

We aren’t academic, sarcastic, or romantic at all.

We dance with Cinderella at the ball,

And we fall for her in one night.

She must be great,

I mean, we married her,

But I only wished for a second date.


So if we are the characters in the stories we write,

I’d prefer if they weren’t white-washed.

Don’t tell me life is easy after I’m married

Because a happy marriage comes at a cost.


If I were in charge of fairytales,

My Cinderella would know that she’s strong,

And that she belongs,

That her daily abuse, the emotional assault,

Not a moment of that was ever her fault.

Alive and unbroken,

She can stand up to her captors

Because a young woman like her

Can never be mastered.


If I were in charge of fairytales,

My Prince Charming would know his worth,

Even from birth, was never rooted in money.

His heart is worth more than his royalty.

He wouldn’t be told to stand tall, silent, and brooding

While the pain of being unknown continued bruising.

He’d be allowed to smile, to frown, and to cry.

He’d be allowed to stay in bed while the day passed him by.

It would be okay to not be okay

At least for a couple of days.

Because his mental health isn’t something to shove down

Underneath his bright, shimmering crown.

It would be something to release,

To set the prisoner, that is himself, free.


If I were in charge of fairytales,

It would be okay to say you couldn’t go to the ball

And to blame it on your mom, pushing aside the dread.

It would be okay to cry on the shoulder

Of your fairy godmother or even just to stay in bed.

It would be okay to leave at eleven

Even when your curfew was midnight.

It would be okay to just be friends with your prince

Because the relationship just didn’t feel right.


If I were in charge of fairytales,

Even just for a day,

I’d paint a brighter picture, a better way.

And I know that isn’t the way our world is now.

That’s not something I’m too naive to see.

But fairy tales are told to children,

And this is The Way It Could Be.

This poem is about: 
Our world
Poetry Terms Demonstrated: 


Additional Resources

Get AI Feedback on your poem

Interested in feedback on your poem? Try our AI Feedback tool.


If You Need Support

If you ever need help or support, we trust for people dealing with depression. Text HOME to 741741