Art by ©Milana Vujkov

Fairytale Ending

When I was young
& born to rule
the gifts I got
alongside my cot
were all fragile, gentile
& kind.
Gold-plated, laced,
with a silk bind.

A small black box
& the bow of rope —
contained in that wrap
a red wool cap;
this was spun
by a most sinister nun.

It got lost in a flurry
of cheers —
hazy made
by October beers;
pushed around
throughout the years.
So ugly it was &
drained in my tears.

The cap was red,
the bow was black,
the card in it said:
This to be read
when the Moon is full
& the day is done;
When the fruit is ripe
& the tale is spun.

My land was lost
I ruled no more,
all promise was gone,
bereft of lore.
In dreams that rope
was a noose above my head.
Then, one morning, skies
turned blood red.

Carefully, I lifted
this crimson shroud of shame
& whispered a sound –
a sound with no name;

Up the stairs I went —
into the junkyard of my brain.

Searched & searched I did–
until the cot was found.
Cut the black rope,
the box was round.

I placed that red cap
on my head.

Like a crown.

My breath was dry,
my tongue was coal,
the words came out
a twisted growl:
There is no gain,
there is no spill,
there is no freedom,
or your own will.
Born a prince,
a pauper you’ve become
& all because of
this web I’ve spun.

My gift was thus,
in my chains
you’ve toiled –
a cauldron I have now
brought to the boil;
could have had a crumb,
but wanted a loaf;
could have had the bottle,
but wanted a barrel;
could have had a room,
but wanted a house.
Born a lion, you’ve
turned into a mouse.

All or nothing was
your curse from me,
and now you claim
you wish to be free?

Gently I laid
the red crown on
the floor,
switched on the lights
and opened the door —
I did not want to
rule any more.

The road in front of me
was neither light,
nor dark —
but shadows on it
created a spark.
And that was enough for me,
it showed me my

I washed away the blood
and there was a flood –
gone were the
fears and the barren years.
I reclaimed my name,
with the last of my

Unrooted lay the family tree.
Its branches bare,
its leaves all free.
And all because of this
mouse, this me.
The smallest things
can move mountains
you see.

© Milana Vujkov, Fairytale Ending, 2007

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