September 17, 2016

Understanding Balance: A Fairy Godmother'd Perspective, By Alicia Cole

She was often tired. And the kitchen was sometimes
dirty. There'd be an unscoured pot, at the least. 
And, her husband, who I never met: he  was lazy, 
and louche,  and full of rum and vinegar.  
A sour combination.

Still, she gave well enough. When she wasn't
angry, or hurt, or mending. A fairy godmother
in pain is an evil thing indeed. Wands reverse.
Wands kill. Women don't do well under
a desperately heavy load.

I'm just a child and the man I'm to marry
has long hair and rides a white horse,
the way it always should be. She tuts over me.
Feeds me pork roast. Lets me steal an occasional
cherry tomato.

I'm just a child and the man I'm to marry
doesn't call often. He's a traveler. He's a roamer.
He's a healer. There's another who comes calling,
though, and when he does, this desperado, she 
sits me down, hands me a spoon,

and begins to speak. Spoons' concavity are good
for reviewing the echoes of a day. You see yourself,
a larger-nosed mirror of youth, a plump-cheeked
vixen, squalling, broken-toothed child. Spoons
are one of life's pleasures.

We talk through desperados. We talk through
insecurities. We talk through every trump
and tower and toffee in the whole damn deck.
And when we're done, I'm no longer in need
of concavity. I curl up in bed.

See horses. See men with long hair. See my fairy
godmother turning her wand the right way. See spring.
See summer. See childbearing time. See winter
melt away and it's cranky, clacking grief. See time.
And a long black cat

slowly slinking, past my fairy godmother. Through
doors less clanky and clacking than grief. To the other side
of time where everything really did happen. And has
become as hum as the tea kettle. And I do not fear
her blessings or wishes or pleas.

Alicia Cole lives and writes in Huntsville, AL.  She's the editor of Priestess & Hierophant Press, and a visual artist.  You can find her at and

Image by Arthur Rackham.


Nora Weston said...

Beautiful poem! I enjoyed reading it a few times to soak it all in.

Alicia Cole said...

Thank you, Nora Weston!