Monday, September 13, 2010

Another Poem

11:55 p.m.
Cinderella sits down hard on the Palace steps, her body slumping forward in fashion most unladylike. Her feet ache from too much dancing, her face from too much smiling, her stomach from the richness of the food, and her back from the intense pressure of corsetry that smothers in whalebone a beauty that rags could never completely hide. But there is an ache in her soul that swallows them all up.
She absently removes a shoe, inspecting it by the light of the moon. It is beautiful, clear as light and graceful in the crystalline artistry of its curves. The pungent and vaguely sweet smell of sweat wafts upward.
"Glass slippers," she mutters, shaking her head. "Under all these yards of dress, who would notice?" she asks, "Who would care?" she demands of the darkness.
What was it all for? The dreaming, the longing, so many hours that would have been better spent sleeping--all the work so faithfully completed--all the abuse so meekly endured--all for three minutes of awkward waltzing with a Prince who only knows what he doesn't want and several hours of polite association with women whose words drip with refinement but whose exchanges amount to the same thing as dogs peeing over a contested bush.
Wiping away tears, Cinderella can just make out the shape of distant mountains reflected in her empty shoe. Somewhere, a door opens, releasing faint strains of fashionable music and vacuous conversation.
An exhausted steward has seen something moving in the garden near the Royal Stables. He steps outside to investigate. At the top of the steps, his foot brushes against clinking glass--doubtless some carelessly abandoned champagne flutes. Kneeling down, he discovers two delicate slippers made entirely of glass, cold and hard as stone, shining like diamonds in the moonlight.

Okay, I just have to write a small disclaimer...two small disclaimers, actually:
1--It doesn't rhyme and it isn't supposed to. It's a 'word art' sort of thing, and in my mind, that constitutes poetry. Most of the time, I am too lazy to rhyme.*
2--Any similarity to real life people or situations (i.e. Sarah complaining about boys, etc.) is purely coincidental. Okay, that's not entirely accurate. But it is true that God and I are working out the whole 'Prince' thing as far as my personal life is concerned. I started writing this when I was feeling particularly discouraged, but got pulled out of 'the depths of despair' by the beguiling process of hunting for the right words to precisely capture the poignant (if slightly dramatic) analogy that had occurred to me as I stared at my empty living room and moped. Besides, the more I read it, the less sad it becomes. In the end, it smells more like adventure...with maybe just a small but satisfying dash of defiance.

Oh, and if you can think of a good title, I am open to suggestion.

*Of course, sometimes they just fall into my lap.

Thursday, September 9, 2010

I saw some fallen leaves today. They rattled in a matter most satisfying across the sun-drenched sidewalk of downtown Mount Vernon. That, along with the cool breeze and already westering sun, tells me we've crossed the invisible boundary between Summer and Fall. It's like when you catch a glimpse of your face in the mirror or a window reflection and realize you're not a kid any more. You don't know it's happening until it's already happened.

I'm having a hard time believing that my life will ever be different than it is now, and deep down I am definitely not OK with that. But I guess I just have to trust that the next phase will come--as the last phase did--like the subtle progression of seasons.

So carpe diem! 'Cause this 'diem' will be gone soon enough.