September 30, 2011

Advice From the Fairy Godmother's Glassblower, By Gail Wickman

Editor's Note: Gail Sosinsky Wickman writes and teaches in Western Pennsylvania.  Her work has appeared in such varied venues as America West Airlines Magazine, Mindflights, and Sword and Sorceress XVI, and was recently accepted at Star*Line



Tread lightly, girl.

Whether you stamp your foot

in gleeful dance or righteous anger,

your soles land on shards.


Beware the clarity.

You’ll feel well-clothed,

but your private beauty

walks in naked display.


Never, never lie about the fit.

No title, no wealth redeems

a lifetime of pinched toes and blisters.

Better off barefoot.

Image by Harry Clarke.

4 comments

  1. I've always thought glass slippers would be uncomfortable--well done!

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  2. I enjoyed reading this poem because of the symbolism used in it. The advice given to Cinderella is very wise, almost as if the Glassblower knows what she will soon endure. What I liked most about the poem is that the advice given not only pertains to Cinderella, but to the readers as well. When the Glassblower warns “You’ll feel well clothed, but your private beauty walks in naked display”, it can be translated to everyday life meaning that regardless of what you wear or what you have, it doesn’t define who you as a person. Materialistic things are only temporary, it’s who we are inside that makes people unique. In the last verse he warns “Never, never lie about the fit”, he is talking about the scene in “Cinderella” where her step-sisters try the glass slipper on and it doesn’t fit so they cut pieces of their feet off in order to make the shoe fit. This verse could literally translate to the phrase “If the shoe fits…”. On the other hand, when the shoe doesn’t fit, it is purposely not meant for you, and most likely for a good reason. Lauren D.

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  3. Gail Sosinsky WickmanJuly 9, 2013 at 10:29 AM

    Thank you both for your kind and thoughtful comments. Glad you enjoyed the poem.

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  4. This short, but sweet poem is written from the viewpoint of the glass shoemaker, the one and the same who made the glass slippers for Cinderella. This poem serves as a warning for the princess. Whether happy or angry, the princess is still walking in glass slippers, and she must tread lightly. This could easily be seen as a tip to control herself, no matter her emotions, because her station makes it too easy to draw attention to her. This sentiment is also present in the next lines of the poem, which draws the reader’s attention the fact that her slippers are transparent. No matter what, Cinderella can’t hide everything, so she must do her best to have nothing to hide. Overall, this poems reminds us all that although we may seem safe and happy, we must be careful to be good and to do good.
    Rachel B.

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