Thursday, July 07, 2005

Scheherazading Rapunzel--posted earlier but removed and revised.

(recasting an old fairy tale)

My hair has grown to the ground
waiting for the one with the ruby
tongue, his hands weaving false
promises into the empassioned air, but

four empty summers have passed by now.
Another man stands underneath my window.
He has caught my tears with his fingertips
and kissed them, tossed me fresh rice cakes,
lathered with honey, as a treat.

Hair finally within reach, he
hesitates, begins his climb.
Do I cut my Repunzel braid? I ask,
and wait faithful in this tower forever?

His eyes light like black opals
as he draws near, bidding me,'say yes'.
A redbird circles his head.
I think of Beth's blood and her
loveknot, her highwayman dead
on that ghostly galleon-lit road.

I know that death can come from
loving flamboyant, sweet talking men,
but Mother told me to always believe
fairy tales do come true.

I'd rather opt for this new tale, Mother,
than one filled with unraveled promises,
dwarfs, or a toad that wants kissing.

I set my scissors aside, toss
out my wedding gown; it billows
among the clouds. Yes,
this one will be my faithful Scheherazade,
my mongrel to bay at the moon with.


Rae Pater said...

Hi Pris,

This poem reminds me of one I read by an Australian poet, Dorothy Hewitt, I think her name was.

I love the twist and shift of fairytale. Nice.

Pris said...

Thanks, Rae
Fairy tales are fun, especially given a modern cast. If you ever run across the Hewitt poem you were thinking about I'd love to read it.