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 Twitter @AmandaBergloff Instagram: amandabergloff