Playing the mash-up game again with the NaPoWriMo prompt to write a poem in the voice of a minor character from a fairy tale or myth, and the Poetic Asides prompt to write a response to another poem. Tailor-made for fun! I chose to step into the skin of one of the “ugly stepsisters,” portrayed as villains in almost every version of Cinderella. I’m a fan of the “Revolting Rhymes” by Roald Dahl, but never much liked that his “Cinderella” was still the heroine, so I decided to spin that a bit with this:
The Real Gory Truth
Sister Number Two, indeed.
I have a name, it’s Dorothee
A family name, my grandma’s yet,
a clever and sweet, blue-eyed coquette.
While I didn’t inherit her pretty looks,
I’ve got the brains, read many great books.
Which is why I’m here to set things straight,
about heinous young Cindy, and our cruel fate.
My sister and I were not blessed of face,
but villainous? No, it’s just not the case.
It’s Cindy who excelled at malice,
conniving, convincing and always so callous.
My sister’s face was blistered and scarred,
when Cindy caught her quite off guard,
and threw hot ash upon her skin
said I’d be next if I told of the sin.
She trained her rats for nasty work,
into our rooms at night they’d lurk,
and bite us both from nose to toe,
then Cindy claimed we were the foes.
Wolfsbane she cooked into our stew.
We thought we had the deathly flu.
But it did not kill us as she planned
so Cindy devised a scheme so grand.
Involving the Prince, if you can believe,
he’s a handsome one, but quite naive.
Cindy arrived like light to the summer ball,
her choice in footwear had the Prince enthralled.
It was always the rumour, his fetish I guess,
and silly me spent so much time on my dress.
At midnight dashed Cindy, leaving her slipper behind,
whomever the owner, the Prince needed to find.
It was she he would marry, and worship those feet,
but those nasty trained rats helped our Cindy to cheat.
They switched up the shoe for my sister’s old sandal,
when the Prince made the fit it was too much to handle:
so repulsed was he by my sister’s maimed face,
that he dropped to the ground, writhing in place.
Cindy didn’t miss a beat, grabbed for his sword,
then whacked my poor sister right in the gourd,
Her head, it rolled, my heart nearly did stop,
but then Cindy took mine with one skillful chop.
When the Prince came to, Cindy shrieked and said,
“This royal brut struck my poor sisters dead!”
They locked up the Prince, for the good of the land,
and some stupid jam maker took Cindy’s cold hand.
They’re married, with a daughter, growing wicked as her,
she’ll be just like her mother, demon child for sure.
This whole tale I write from the other side,
that you believed her so long leaves me quite mystified.
Leave it to Cindy to beguile with her wiles,
but remember the beast behind her bright smile.
April 21 is also Poem In Your Pocket Day! Please share the love of verse in any way you can. The League of Canadian Poets has some great ideas here.