September 17, 2016

The 1% Fairy Godmother Strata, By Janet Bowdan


If you ask me, they get more credit than they deserve
swooping down at the last minute with a wand and a fancy
dress
like that’s going to solve all the world’s problems.  Where
have they been while the rest of us are struggling to get the
day’s
work done?  Sure, they came to the naming party, brought a
gift,
something useful like “the voice of a lark” or “tresses as gold
as wheat,” flutter of wings, wave of magic wand, bye-bye, see
you
in 20 years or so once you’ve grown up and gotten interesting.
By which they mean ripe for romance with a side order of
toppling
the status quo just to set it right up again claiming to be better
at it
than the previous lot.  Different, maybe.  Less experienced, sure.
And okay, let’s say our fairy godmother pops in, rights a wrong,
restores the lost heiress to her family and high position,
throwing in
a makeover while she’s at it: where was everybody else all
those years
watching as the wicked stepmother abuses her, the oblivious
dad
neglects her, the family she doesn’t fit into bullies her? 
Assuming
a small flock of bluebirds and a couple of mice were going to
step up?
Thinking that was going to be sufficient?  Why was nobody
noticing,
or if noticing, why was nobody trying to help? How is that
godchild
going to turn out by the time the fairy g shows up—good,
sweet,
patient?  What view of the world would you have, left to fend
for yourself?

Bio: Janet Bowdan's poems have been published in APR, Denver Quarterly, Clade Song, Verse, Gargoyle, Free State Review, Wordpeace, and other journals, most recently Meat for Tea and Amethyst Arsenic. She teaches at Western New England University and edits the poetry magazine Common Ground Review.  She lives in Northampton, Massachusetts, with her husband, son, and sometimes a stepdaughter or two.

Image by Emma Florence Harrison.

1 comment

  1. I love this! Especially the part about leaving our heroine on her own until she's gotten interesting:) It raises a great question: how do those characters wind up so darned Good being brought up an environment like that?

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