Prompted by some quirk of fate, I recently wrote a retelling of a well known fairytale in poetic form.
Being neither poetess, nor 'fairytale-reteller,' this came as a surprise.
I like that it's short enough to share in this group. Any comments welcome.
THE SECRET TRUTH
(Memoirs of a Fairytale Princess)
I was born in a Palace,
a dream come true,
for my parents and fairy godmother.
From thereon, however, things went downhill.
Mama got sick, a difficult birth,
and Papa, with his power, wealth and all that,
would have given his crown, I was told.
Couldn’t save her though.
My mother died, I was nursed
by a maid, wish I knew her name.
Then the Queen took over,
became my new mum, can’t tell exactly when.
Didn’t see her much,
and anyway, she’s all I’ve ever known.
My childhood passed in a gloomy fog,
no photos, no tales, no baby locks,
no keep sakes of my dear mother.
My earliest memory,
I may have been ten,
the forbidden room was open,
I walked in, as you do, looked in the mirror, and…
Had no idea it was magic.
What I saw that day?
I so wish I could remember!
The hunter found me in the woods,
they say, the Queen’s secret lover,
how I got there, nobody told me that bit,
but I swear by the nymphs of the forest.
He wanted to kill me.
I cried, and I begged,
till he took me back to the Palace.
Life wasn’t a fairytale after that,
the Queen jealous as hell.
She talked to the mirror from dawn to dusk,
obsessed with age, rank, and beauty.
In the end I ran away, as you know
from home to the hilly yonder
stayed with little fellows, seven of them,
cleaning caves, cooking food – not my dream.
So when that old witch came along and brought
stuff I couldn’t avoid or resist, I ignored
advice, counsel, and warnings.
Took the belt, the comb, and the apple from her
all poisoned, in hindsight it’s clear.
Got it wrong each time, I admit without shame,
failed again, again, and again.
But my prince found me anyway.
And that’s all I wanted to say:
Defeat, my friends, wasn’t my story’s end,
and the mirror – it just came back to me – knew the secret truth all along.