From the Wreckage of Wishes, Dreams and Fairy Tales by Joanne Key

From the Wreckage of Wishes, Dreams and Fairy Tales

Here we preserve the subjects
in a thin solution of the very same morning
light that failed to break their fall.
This is the room for those flyers
who ventured out in their underwear –
the ones who did not wake
before they hit the floor. Salvaged
from the wreckage, please note sections
of this dream spattered in a style
similar to that of Jackson Pollock –
our main selection: The Chase,
Handsome Prince, Happy Ever After, Monsters.
Further back, you may appreciate the collage
in fragments of dark thoughts and corpses.
Note, in this display, the erratic cracks
through the girl’s ribs and sternum,
the last arrow of its kind shot through the heart.
Note also – the work of the conservator:
elaborate silk stitches, the tiny propeller,
the iridescent wings. Observe
the reconstruction of another scene:
a shimmering bowl of a love story
cracked open with the mirage in its shine:
place settings at the table for two,
blood-spattered wine, the ash of a thousand
smouldering roses. Here, in the style
of a butterfly, we recovered the casing
of a broken girl, the blackbirds that tried
to enter through her fractures – we counted
four and twenty in all – and in the background,
the princess dresses, the red shoes,
shorn off golden hair: everything she left behind,
and never came back for.


Joanne Key lives in Cheshire where she writes poetry and short fiction. She won 2nd prize in the 2014 National Poetry Competition and has previously been shortlisted for Poetry for Performance, The Bridport Prize, Mslexia Poetry Competition and The Plough Poetry Prize. Her poems have appeared both on line and in print. Completely in love with poetry, she writes every day and her work is often inspired by elements of fairytale and folklore.

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