Once, there was, and was not, a jealous stepmother
whose beautiful stepdaughter found a flying horse.
The girl escaped from her sad home by flying away on the magical horse.
Suddenly, her life became filled with magic.
When she tossed a stick, it turned into a tree.
When she threw a cup, it became an ocean.
The wicked stepmother fell into the magical ocean, and vanished.
Soon, the girl met a prince.
Together, they flew away on the magical horse.
They are still flying.
Now, the tale is over.
About the Author: Margarita Engle is a botanist and the Cuban–American author of three books about the island, most recently The Poet Slave of Cuba, a Biography of Juan Francisco Manzano (Henry Holt & Co, 2006), currently nominated as an American Library Association Best Book for Young Adults. Short works appear in a wide variety of journals, including previous issues of the Journal of Mythic Arts. Current honors include a Pushcart Prize nomination, and semi–finalist selection for the Nimrod/Hardman Pablo Neruda Prize for Poetry. Margarita lives in California, where she enjoys hiking and helping her husband with his volunteer work for wilderness search and rescue dog training programs.
"A Cuban Cinderella" copyright © 2007 by Margarita Engle. This poem may not be reproduced in any form without the author's express written permission.