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puce fairy book

you wanted Rapunzel   waiting in a tower

braids of hair like ropes

stairs that only you could climb

 

my hair would never grow long enough

 

you wanted a lady   sleeping in a garden

no rings on her fingers

never been kissed

 

other princes had made it through my forest

 

so you tried revisionist tale-telling

and turned them into dwarves –

you wanted happy ever after

 

I forgot to water the roses round the door

 

I piled up mattresses    to cushion you

but you tossed and turned

bruised by that one small nub

 

the part of me that is no fairy tale

 

you brought me a crystal slipper

on a heart-shaped pillow

pretty    but slightly passé

 

my foot was too big to fit into it

 

you might have been the one true prince

but on mature consideration

I declined   with thanks   the honour

 

of cutting off my toe

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