April 3, 2022

Like Thunder in My Head, By Gerri Leen


You're not like other fairy godmothers


Her tone is disapproving

As if my weakness is an affront

To her--little brat

Wait until the next storm rolls in


Lots of people get headaches


Yes, many do but this isn't

Just a headache, this is migraine

Systemic, my body perpetually

Overreacting to stimulus


It doesn't make them useless


Not useless; just not what she's

Used to and she knows not to push

Too hard, because my power

Comes in with the rain and lightning


Is a storm coming?


You'd think she would open with

The question, not the light insults

But she's never been terribly

Astute--or kind


Is that why you've got the lamps off?


It's not, it's just a normal too-bright day

But a storm is coming, I can feel it

The same way she can tell when her

Prince is looking at her


Maybe we should move you to the dungeon


This is an old--and tired--joke

I don't bother answering

"Take in the crops before Sunday"

Her look changes; she has learned to listen


Just the crops?


I nod because the rest I must do

Stay awake and keep our little kingdom

On the border of the storm, make destruction

Skip and jump and mostly miss us


I hope this isn't like the one last year


I made the mistake of trying a new tincture

Right before the storm: I slept through it

And it tore through the land

I let what's left of my power show in my eyes


Are you trying to scare me?


Frustration and betrayal surge through me

And the shutters slam, one at a time

She smiles, respect on her face like

It used to be when she was young


I guess you're not worthless after all


I guess I'm not--I'd ask her

To bring me some tea

Or at least send a servant

But she's already to the door


Hope you feel better


The worst hope and I've told

Her so, this isn't a temporary illness

That one recovers from--this is my life

One she stomps all over


Maybe try some exercise


I let her hurt me because I need

Her and at some point during

Our campaign to win a prince

I grew to love her


Well, good night


I'd like to say she loves me too

But though migraine makes my vision

Sparkle and dim, I can see the truth:

I am useful to her and nothing more

Gerri Leen is a Pushcart-nominated poet from Northern Virginia who's into horse racing, tea, and collecting encaustic art and raku pottery. She has poetry published/accepted by The Magazine of Fantasy and Science Fiction, Strange Horizons, Dark Matter, Dreams & Nightmares, and others. Visit gerrileen.com to see more.

Cover: Amanda Bergloff


Kelly Jarvis said...

I can feel the pain of a migraine in this poem; I love the way you have twisted it with both the weather and the role of the fairy godmother.

Gerri Leen said...

Thank you so much! Weather and air pressure changes are my biggest triggers and I love writing fairytale poetry so this seemed tailor made. 😊

Diane Fujimoto said...

What a picture your words create! I don’t suffer from migraines but I do empathize with those that do. your poem offers a perspective I’ve never even considered. Wonderful poem, Gerri.

Gerri Leen said...

Awww, thank you! 😊 I'm glad you liked it.

Katie Jordan said...

Nice closing. This is a great fit for the theme!

Sarah Garcia said...

Lovely poem, Gerri! I especially like the conversational aspect to this piece, how I can hear each character's voice so distinctly.

Gerri Leen said...

Katie - I'm so glad this worked for you. I would have liked to have given her a happier closing, but it just didn't feel right. Thank you for the comment! 😊

Sarah - I wasn't sure how that would work so I am really glad to hear it came through for you. Thank you for the comment! 😊