I am Rapunzel in her tower with her hair already shorn –
Or Sleeping Beauty, pricked not by spinning needle
But by some more poisonous thorn.
I am Cinderella, but my slippers are not glass
They are rusted iron shackles locked
So tight no key can pass.
I am Snow White but now, instead of tasting purest skin
I am spat bites of bad apple,
Stained both outside and in.
I am the Little Mermaid – I walk on spikes on pain
The ocean’s crested waves
Will never salve my scales again.
I am the faded Goose Girl, my charms have slowly paled –
I am stripped of my silk dancing dresses
And my Falada hangs from a nail.
Alas, he could not teach to me the things I never knew
I must tell my truths to cast iron doors
And my heart will break in two.
*First published in the anthology Twice Upon A Time (Kind of a Hurricane Press).
Jane Burn is a North East based writer and artist. Her poems have been published in a wide variety of magazines and anthologies. Her first pamphlet, Fat Around The Middle was published in 2015 by Talking Pen. She also established the online magazine The Fat Damsel in this year.