Everything Ends Up in the Bin

Day 28
Poem 26

Today’s prompt involved telling a story backwards. I messed around with several options on my way home tonight, but once I got home I pulled out my Hans Christian Andersen book and wrote down some of the most intriguing final (or close to final) lines from his stories. The italicized lines are the borrowed ones, and I built each little poem-let from the quote without taking the story it came from into consideration.

Quotes are from the following stories in the Tiina Nunnally translation (2004): Auntie Toothache, The Sweethearts, The Steadfast Tin Soldier, The Flying Trunk, and The Marsh King’s Daughter.

Everything Ends Up in the Bin

Why, you wouldn’t even recognize her if you met her in the trash bin
She stopped being of any use long ago.
She was too old now to have more.
She’d borne nothing but daughters.
The king had long since given up hope.
But their wedding, how beautiful.
The girl, plucked from nothing.

But all that was left of the dancer was the spangle, and that had been burned black as coal
There were no bones in the smoldering.
The house, totally destroyed.
Some say they saw her dancing among the flames.
Some say they saw her strike a match.
All she wanted was to stretch her legs.
This house was nothing but a prison.

She is still waiting, while he roams the world telling stories
At least it’s a good excuse to stay herself.
She’s beginning to think she doesn’t mind the alone.
She cried for him, but a few days shorter than proper.
By the time the sun set, she knew.
He wasn’t there, and on their wedding day.
The princess made such a lovely bride.

Her body sank into the dust
There isn’t supposed to be a happy end for a girl alone.
She knew what she was doing.
She was far too cold for a woman like her.
She’d turned down every suitor unseen.
Her father selected the very best men.
Her mother talked to horses.


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