Poems 15 and 16
Yesterday’s prompt was about showing a villain in a moment of pain and humanity. It’s one of my favorite things to write about, but I got stuck for a while as I tried to figure out a villain I don’t write about much. I’ve written about the title character from The Snow Queen before, but I’d never explored the other child-snatching witch in the story. I wrote two linked poems about their loss of their temporary children.
Ever After I: Summer
The daisies keep to themselves now, and the roses,
the roses haven’t forgiven how I hid them away
like a secret shame. I groomed them for so many summers,
carefully pruned and guided towards me,
faces following me as if I was the only light.
All the spells are broken now and my human child fled
with all her half-remembered songs,
unintelligible games. And my garden children,
rooted as they are to me, crane their necks
to follow her. They see me, now, like those
far beyond the garden wall: eccentric, unpredictable,
enchanted by her own lies.
Ever After II: Winter
The room where I kept you is empty, all the rooms are empty but for the wind
and still I check each one, flurrying. But you’ve finished the puzzle,
each piece of mirror fitting neatly to the others, and when I look down
at the place I left you, all I see is me. Too late.
I should have found a better way to keep you, whether chains or gentle words.
I’d forgotten how cold it can be, the silence, these rooms without
the faint warmth of your body heat, the chatter of your teeth.
Eating my dinner now, on the days I remember about eating, I look across
the long table to see nothing at all. I go to bed early now
there’s no you to watch, fighting with your puzzle, your tears going crystal.