White As Snow, Red As Blood: A fairytale

      (1) One Thousand and One Nights

 

"Tell us a story." The voices whisper.

It's getting dark out.

There are far too many shadows.

The room echoes of silence.

 

This isn't safe.

I cannot be trusted with the darkness,

The quiet,

With what waits for me there.

 

One thousand and one nights

Filled with emptiness.

A void

Stretching on

And on.

 

Tell us a story.

Maybe we'll make it through the night.

 

My voice is barely substantial

As I whisper into the dark.

A half-formed ghost.

 

This is all I have.

These stories.

A candle in the dark.

Something to keep the demons away.

 

Tell us a story.

Maybe we'll make it through the night.

 

 

                       (2) Rapunzel

When I was a child,

They locked me in the tower

High above the ground.

No one around for miles.

I thought we were the only people on earth.

 

There were walls everywhere

And hardly any room to breathe.

 

They dressed me in rags

And grew my hair

Until it covered me like a veil.

They took my choices

And called it piety.

 

At night

They told me stories

Of fire and brimstone.

In the darkness,

They whispered

Of hell

And eternal suffering.

 

I always thought

Hell sounded a lot

Like this.

 

   (3) The Forbidden Forest

The forest went on for miles,

Thick and dark.

Night turned it into a thousand shadows.

A maze of claws and teeth.

Monsters behind every tree.

 

When I was five, I ran away.

I tried again

When I was eight

And nine.

I could never get through the forest.

 

There was a road

On the other side

Of the forest.

I could just see it.

I always wondered

Where it went.

 

When I dreamed,

I dreamt that I ran down that road.

In my dreams I could run forever.

But the road went on and on.

I could never get anywhere

(4) Little Red Riding Hood

I wore a red cape

And played in the forest.

So you built a fence

To keep the wolves out

And to keep me in.

 

"Stay in the forest.

Where you'll be safe.

You could never believe

That wasn't true.

 

There was a wolf

In the forest

That you wouldn't see.

 

He dressed as a sheep.

His fur cleaned

White as innocence.

His lips a gentle smile

That hid his teeth.

 

He knocked me to the ground

And tore my cape.

There were bruises

On my knees.

You said that I shouldn't play so rough.

 

I'd never cried before

Or since.

But you didn't know that

Or care.

"Why couldn't you believe me?"

 

So I ran

But I couldn't escape

Because you had fenced me in

With him.

(5) Sleeping Beauty

The days passed

And morning and night

Sleeping and waking

Blurred.

 

The difference

Between dreams and reality

Faded.

Does it even matter?

 

The princess lays in her tower

Surrounded by thorns

In this enchanted sleep

Waiting to be awoken.

 

An onlooker

In the waking world.

Both here and not here.

 

Her world

Bled of color

Stripped and gray.

Empty walls going on and on.

 

The princess lays in her tower

Surrounded by thorns

In this enchanted sleep.

No one ever comes.

 

 

(6) Interlude: A wish

Make a wish

A shooting star

A golden lamp

What to wish for.

 

If I wished for money,

Would that be selfish

And greedy

To want my future secured?

In the stories, it always is.

 

This one wish.

It could fix everything.

It might not fix anything.

What do I ask for?

 

The truth is

I'm afraid

That all the magic in the world

Can't fix this.

 

Money, power, riches

It isn't enough.

Why isn't it enough?

 

Please,

Fix this.

Fix

Me.

 

  (7) Beauty and the Beast

Rose petals fall

As the years go by.

 

In the mirror

My eyes meet a strangers

Dark and haunted.

I can't stand the sight.

The house is filled with broken mirrors.

 

They say I've grown nicely.

Such a beauty.

But I look like everyone

Who hurt me.

 

I can't stand this.

Broken mirrors and toppled furniture.

No one wants an angry girl.

Who could ever love

A beast?

 

Dull your fangs.

Put your claws away

And smile.

Everyone wants a beauty.

No one wants a beast.

 

 

(8) The Snow Queen

There is a mirror

Kissed by the devil.

Pieces shattered through the world.

New lens for your eyes.

 

I think a piece

Has found its' way

Into my heart.

I can feel it there.

I can feel my heart growing cold.

 

The mirror distorts sight.

Everywhere I look

Pain

And neglect.

 

A man offers me a flower

And follows me home.

There is always something,

A shadow,

In the corner of my eye.

 

Only love

Can remove the shards

But to love

And be loved

To feel anything

Is a gift

Not found here

(9) Cinderella: Little Cinder Girl

Fingers stained black

As ashes

Little Cinder girl

 

Dawn until dusk

There a thousand things

That need to be done.

 

The stepmother

Desiring power without responsibility.

Cocooned in luxury.

 

Someone needs to care

For this place

But it's not her.

 

The attic is freezing

And the leftover scraps

Are never enough

 

On her hands and knees

Day in and day out

It never ends.

 

 

(10) Cinderella: Until Midnight

The clock

Ticks the minutes away.

Half hour

Until midnight.

 

From above,

The city looks like

A thousand earthbound stars

Shining under the balcony.

 

The black and white

Grime of my day

Has faded away

To this

Multicolored

Dream of a night.

 

And I,

Dirt under my nails,

My fingers eternally wrinkled.

Old before my time.

I could never belong.

 

Not in this

Gala of perfection.

Smooth fingers,

Bright eyes,

And clean nails.

 

Some things

Can't be washed away.

 

The clock

Ticks the minutes away.

Ten minutes

Until midnight.

 

Please,

Let this moment

Remain

Forever

Suspended in time.

Let me pretend

A little longer

 

 

(11)The Little Mermaid:Part of that World

Pictures

Line the walls.

Forests,

And rivers,

Roads,

Lined with flowers.

 

These places

Where the sun

Doesn't beat on you

And the air

Is cool and wet.

 

I can't help but wonder,

Does it rain there?

I have never seen so much green.

 

And I tell myself,

One day,

I'll be there.

One day,

I'll leave this place behind.

It seems a world away.

 

 

(12) The Little Mermaid: Transformation

Beneath the sea

The oceans' weight

Presses on you.

 

And I can't believe it came to this.

A few steps from drowning,

I sold what I had,

Everything I had,

So I could breathe again.

 

And is this what it's like?

These new legs,

Pale and thin,

Wobbling,

Aching,

Knives in my feet.

 

And is this what it's like,

Stumbling in the burning sand?

The air,

Cold and thin.

The smell of salt.

It's too much.

But I can breathe.

 

(13) Pinocchio

When I was a child,

I used to make wishes,

On shooting stars

And four-leaf clovers.

 

But I never understood

How wishes come true.

Not a falling star

A magical second

Between being human

And being this

Wooden imitation.

 

But this,

Wood inching back,

Day after day,

Revealing flesh.

Human after all.

 

And this as well.

A hundred new sensations,

Rain,

On new skin.

Flinching,

Unused to the softness

Of my skin.

Hands pressed against moss,

In rivers,

And against silk.

To feel this

After all.

 

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