She said "to keep you safe" and I understood.
She'd had enough of men's wild hands
in the rampion and parsley, one more garden
besieged. Here, only women spoke.
And no mirrors — nothing to make me question
the softness of my skin, the redolent body.
But he came, as they all do,
through the window, all dash,
claiming to love my voice.
One day she found him clinging
to my hair and sent him packing.
She noticed the new swell of my girl's waist.
She knew the danger of 16–year–olds
with golden curls where I was going.
So she came at me with scissors
and turned me out into the world. It was blinding.
In the desert, I heard her words,
that no prince would be my rescue.
I wrap my baby in silk, smash the palace mirrors.
About the Author: Jeannine Hall Gailey's poems have appeared in numerous journals and anthologies including The Iowa Review, Rattle, The Columbia Poetry Review, The Seattle Review, Poetry Southeast, Verse Daily, The Year’s Best Fantasy & Horror, and the forthcoming Datlow/Windling anthology The Beastly Bride. She is the author of one collection, Becoming the Villainess, and one chapbook, Female Comic Book Superheroes. She lives in Seattle. For more information, please visit the author's website.
Copyright © 2008 by Jeannine Hall Gailey. This poem may not be reproduced in any form without the author's express written permission.