A Queen's Discontent, By Marcia Sherman
Editor's note: This is a thorough mashup that had me identifying villainesses and other characters the whole time I read it. It also digs into that stepmother business rather effectively. As for the picture, well, there's no Lancelot in Marcia's poem, but I think the picture captures the mood of it rather nicely.
I will let you in on a secret.
Of course none of us have actually died.
That is all just written for dramatic effect.
It seems so much more -
To have a father raise a daughter.
But we are all here.
All the mothers.
In the background,
Or on another estate.
Or in another, smaller, castle.
We all keep in touch.
And we meet at least once a year.
Queen and commoner alike.
Even that doe,
The one everybody thinks was shot.
And that clownfish.
In a bowl of course.
Those of us who live close enough,
Visit with one another quite often.
And we have more to do with the stories than anyone realizes.
Take for example that silly girl and Rumplestiltskin.
I can say that silly girl.
Because she married my son.
Do you really think, for one minute,
She was able to get out of that situation alone?
Do you really think, for even one second,
Her mother and I were going to let her take a chance
On giving up our first-born grandchild?
Pish, we were there to help her all along.
We did the "heavy lifting."
I would love to be able to tell the truth about that.
Who would believe me anyway,
After these hundreds of years of fairy tales.
Every so often someone new comes along.
Some little-known tale
Suddenly becomes popular.
Or gets modernized.
Thanks to Walt.
That brings something fresh
To the annual meeting.
But for the most part we just live in the shadows.
We keep the households
And the kingdoms running smoothly.
It does get a little lonely,
Husbands and families
Unable to acknowledge us publicly.
Makes you feel hemmed in.
Makes you want to blow off some steam.
So every five years or so we come here.
Across the pond.
Visit with Powhatan's wife.
Let our hair down.
So to speak.
Another silly girl, that Rapunzel.
Why, I would love another, thank you.
That is very charming of you.
And believe me I know something about charming.
Yes, we do age very well.My room?
I would be enchanted to show you my room.
I am sharing, but the roommates are out shopping.
Something about shoes and mirrors and roses.
Just mind the spindle in the corner,
It is sharp.
|"The Four Queens Find Lancelot Sleeping," by Frank Cadogan Cowper|
Marcia A. Sherman is Mama to one perfect Rose.She writes for Llewellyn Publishing under the name of Emyme, has self-published the children's book The Splendid, Blended Family, and is writing the Great American Wiccan Novel.