I found a man in my garden bed,
Picking herbs for his wife, he said,
For she was hungry and heavy with child.
"For greens, your daughter is mine," I smiled.
So after the birth, I took her away
To a tall, doorless tower where she would stay.
I was her mother, she my one care--
"Rapunzel, Rapunzel, let down your fair hair!"
But then a prince came and stole her young heart,
So I cut her long locks and let her depart.
I took her tresses for my own
And saw how beautiful I had grown.
Then I wondered: could I, too,
Find a prince so valiant and true?
I married a king, to my delight,
With one daughter named Snow White.
Though his age was quite obscene,
I was his happily cherished queen.
Until -- "Mirror, on the wall,
Who is the fairest of them all?"
Was my stepdaughter fairer than I?
Jealousy declared that she must die!
I followed her deep into the forest
To where dwarves mined; "Hi ho," they chorused.
Disguised, I fed her an apple so red
That after one bite she was thoroughly dead.
That mirror, mirror, in my hand
Heralded me the belle of the land!
But then a prince came riding past;
Snow White arose, and then -- alas!
His Majesty banished me from his home
And once again, I had to roam.
Desolate, desperate, and depressed,
I let a cottager give me rest.
He made me his bride so I could care
For his young children, a docile pair,
Yet he loved them too well; my envy raged.
If I could not kill them, their deaths would be staged.
I left them in the woods alone,
But Hansel dropped a trail of stones.
They returned the very next day--
Why would they not stay away?
Next I turned them out with naught but crumbs,
Relieved when they did not return for months,
Though I should have known they were not gone,
For it seems my plans will always go wrong.
Nevertheless, my hopes were bold
Till the children returned weighed down with gold.
Shocked and disgusted, I then spurned
Them all and left before I could be burned
Like the witch in the house made of gingerbread.
So again I wandered; again I wed.
Still my story remains the same,
Nothing changes but the name
Of the girl. Ella is another beauty
Whom I can only hide by keeping her sooty
Among dirty dishes and the fire's ashes.
But then she had to go batting her lashes
At -- whom else? -- a prince. He fell
In love as if by a fairy godmother's spell
And my stepdaughter left me behind
Just like all the others of her kind.
Just like those who came after and before,
Twisting me till my cruelty became lore.
Why do they have happy endings?
Why is my life the one that is rending?
Are they better than I? They act as if
They think they are, so haughty and stiff.
Why do they not love me? Because I am not
A true mother? Because I forgot
That I am not one of them, that to belong
In a fairy tale of my own I must sing the song
Of others? My anger grows hotter.
I only ever wanted a daughter.