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Placid patterns of Cinderella’s face, tints of pink
and pearl-white glass shoes embellish the familiar
ceiling above me. I gaze at her nightly with dazed,
watery eyes glistening in twilight hours, even when
my toes had barely brushed the end of my bed.
I am furious – the clock’s struck midnight, Where
is my pumpkin carriage to take me home? Where
is my Godmother, to tuck me to bed? No – I don’t
want a Prince Charming to kiss my dried lips like
my friend Sleeping Beauty in the other castle!
Sadly, there are no Godmothers in my cottage,
but chirping of birds bickering in their nest,
screeching of wasted Cadillacs from drinks,
weary whirring of the washing machine, and
slamming of a telephone that hisses in
I echo back, huffing
in relief as I leave
today’s breath behind, holding my face tight
until Dad comes home, and snatch Death’s
scythe to punch it blind until all that is left
on my mind is to close my eyes, sink into
Mom’s lap, and murmur, “Goodnight.”