Saturday, January 4, 2020

Disenchanted: On Fairy Tales and Their Modern Uses

by Bacopa Literary Review 2019 Poetry contributor Yania Padilla Sierra

What happens to the fairy princess when no one will rescue her? What becomes of the girl who decides to take instead of wait? To plot instead of pray? Fairy tales have always fascinated me; as I grow older, I am relating more to the 'villains,' often women who are 'past their prime;' women who are angry, who will have their due.
It's in the tower, it's through the wood; it's behind the curtain, up to no good.
The poem begins with a bit of song,perhaps a nursery rhyme sung about the speaker of the poem. A woman who wields power invisibly, who has knowledge born of difficult experiences. In this new world where only the young, naive, and beautiful matter, the woman is invisible. She watches the parade, the endless parade of her 'replacements,' full of sorrow and rage. She is sorrowful because their innocence means ignorance. She is rageful because their focus on baubles and underwire things means they may not be up to the task of wielding power as she does. She is rageful because the world will destroy the sweet things once their beauty is used up.
Little ones, follow me, let down your hair--the lace front tresses--no one will care  
The speaker wants to guide and save the sweet things before it's too late, before they become victims. The speaker may be inexorably drawn to helping the bad bitches and their too plump legs and cruelty free lips, but they are too trusting, too compliant, too beautiful. She then realizes that it is She who will devour them, as all predators do with prey, as it was meant to be. She also realizes She will likely meet her end in their undoing.
I love them like a stepmother with cinders in her mouth.

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Yania Padilla Sierra is a Puerto Rican bruja/writer/artist and suicide prevention SME. Her work has been featured in various online literary journals, including Military Experience & The  Arts and The Write Launch, and will be published in the first AROHO anthology.

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