June 24, 2011

Night of Snow, By Mary Meriam


She lives, more lovely than sweet dreams,
Red berry lips, black hair that streams
In tender breezes through the night
Lit by starlight and pure snow white.

Meanwhile, her mother sits and schemes
Suffocating in her screams
At her own beauty’s furious flight,
Old age’s creeping, seeping blight.

She is the Queen, and her regime’s
A bloody plot of swift extremes.
Her daughter’s heart would taste just right.
She opens wide and takes a bite.

Through woods and thickets of thorny themes,
Snow stumbles through a night that teems
With lurking lowlife. Shot by fright,
She runs, and running, learns to fight.

Finally through the gloom there beams
The warm and friendly homelike gleams
Of seven gems. They are polite;
Snow’s safe and snug at last? Not quite.

The lonely door has lost its seams,
Squeaks open for a witch who seems
Kindly, but murders with all her might,
To be the only belle in sight.

The tables turn again. Fate deems
The daughter live. The mother steams
In oven shoes, dancing her spite
To death, ever bitter and tight.

Mary Meriam’s poems have appeared recently in the New York Times, Poetry Foundation, American Life in Poetry, Mezzo Cammin, Measure, Light, Think, Sentence, and Rhythm. She is the author of The Countess of Flatbroke (Modern Metrics, 2006) and The Poet's Zodiac (Seven Kitchens, 2011).

2 comments

  1. Beautiful retelling of the story.

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  2. I am amazed at how well put together this poem is of Snow White. All the detail and words are so deep and real. I could feel and see everything that was being mentioned and described. It is a very unique yet original piece of writing which is why I love it so much. You kept the context of the story the same but added your own spice to it as well. I also love how you managed to sum up everything in the story to a single poem and keep it short and sweet. It is definately not easy to put together something that has so much detail into one little poem. I admire your poem and I am curious to see what other poems you have written about other fairy tales. Keep up the tremendous work!

    Hannah R.

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