In the attic there lies neatly folded

pretty fripperies, mute evidence of someone I wanted

to be once upon a time.

Tarnished crown, plastic slippers, and

a storybook opened to a picture of a handsome prince.

Vision of a pumpkin smashed,

rats running havoc in my dreams, and

didn’t those slippers really shatter as if glass?

So many doors opened, so many slammed shut.

Too many imposters selling the wrong fairy tale

and nobody lived happily ever after.

I gave up.

Packed away the frills, gave the princess

walking papers, and looked every frog

in the eye and proclaimed him suspect.

Until I saw a face in the mirror looking over my shoulder.

She still looks the same after all these years.

She leads me up to the attic and smiles

while I dress myself in tattered finery, rub the

tarnish from my crown, and rush

to open yet another door.

Deborah Decker 1/5/2012