Dare I hope?
Steaming water reddens my hands,
Skin once white as apple blossoms
And smooth as velvet petals.
The prince has asked for a cake baked by me…
Did he see?
How could he see
Beyond this stinking
Dare I hope
He has seen beneath this shaggy skin?
I rinse a heavy pewter cup,
Take up the next.
Once I caught the eye of a king.
How the thorns and branches of the wood
Tore at my face and hands
As I fled
But this time it is a prince,
I rinse the last cup,
Dry them all quickly with
I shall sneak into the orchard.
Aye, when I am done.
The apple trees are blooming,
Their petals will be just the thing
To transform these work-worn hands
To the hands of a queen.