November 21, 2017

Disobedience by Lissa Sloan

Sleep in the ashes. Do not touch the spindle. And always do what you're told...
I must not touch a spindle.
I must not leave the path.
Or talk to strange wolves.
I must not use the littlest key.
Or visit my lover’s house when he is not home.  

I must not discover the pot full of cut-up women or the poor girl’s finger, ring still on.

I must do as I am told.

I must sleep in the ashes.
I must flatter the king.
I must marry my father.
I must stay in the wood and starve.

I must go with the devil when he comes to take me.

I must do as I am told.

I must not hide.
I must not escape.
Or cheat my way out of a bad bargain.
I must not discover murderers or expose usurpers.
I must not grow back my severed hands.
Or bring anyone back to life.

I must not break enchantments.

I must do as I am told.

For if I don’t
If I am not master of my curiosity
Or my desire
Or my sheer stubborn will
Who knows what might happen?

Perhaps everyone
Poor tailors and forgotten soldiers
Downtrodden goose girls and stunted kitchen wenches
Murderous husbands
Scheming maids and lazy stepsisters
Tyrant kings and jealous queens

Would get what they deserve.

What they deserve.

Lissa Sloan's poems and short stories are published in Enchanted ConversationNiteblade Magazine, Krampusnacht: Twelve Nights of Krampus, andFrozen Fairy Tales.  “Death in Winter,” Lissa's contribution to Frozen Fairy Tales, has been nominated for a Pushcart Prize.  Visit her online at her website,, or on Twitter: @LissaSloan.

Read Lissa's poem, "Hide," from EC's Donkeyskin Issue HERE.

Poem ART by: Amanda Bergloff


Guy Ricketts said...

Very much enjoyed this poem celebrating the major rules of various fairy tales, and the possible consequences of disobeying them. And the ending put a beautiful slant on the piece, revealing a possibility of justice by contemplating that disobedience.
Also enjoyed revisiting "Hide" from a previous issue. It too is clever and reveals the vulnerability of its narrator who ponders the sincerity of her heart's desire.

Lissa Sloan said...

Thank you!

Guy S. Ricketts said...

You are quite welcome, Lissa.

Kate said...

You always enchant the reader!

Lissa Sloan said...

Thank you, Kate!

AMOffenwanger said...

This is excellent. A great summary of the major plot points of the best-known stories.

Lissa Sloan said...

Thank you:)