Fairy Tale
by Laura Cherry

Here’s the moral of the story
before it even begins: the youngest
brother always wins. The princess

always wins. The frog triumphs
only if not a frog. The swallow
may be dragged underground

and still revive to fly away.
The bare cupboard will reveal
your heart’s desire, your secret fear.

The ring you hold in your pocket
is not yours. The spell you suffer
may be cured by figwort, milkwort,

whorlywort, snapdragon, toadflax,
speedwell, mullein, but at a price.
Will you pay it sight unseen?

Will you weep to dislodge the shard
of ice in the eye, the ruby in the throat?
Will you pack your rucksack and begin?

 

Published in Cider Press Review, Volume 17, Issue 4.

Laura-Cherry-SqLaura Cherry is the author of the recent chapbook Two White Beds (Minerva Rising), the full-length collection Haunts (Cooper Dillon Books), and the chapbook What We Planted (Providence Athenaeum).

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