Maiden, Mother, Crone: Fireside Views by Donna Quattrone

(A Cinderella Story)

You’d think it would be
The glass slipper she remembers,
But instead it’s simply
Ashes that remain;
Sooty reminders
To mark the growing pains of youth.
And later,
Flickering-flame shadows
That echo the heat discovered
In the unlikely arms of
The gardener’s son.

What—you never heard the real story?
Dear Ella found love
Only after she broke curfew.
That’s not to say
She didn’t have fun at the ball,
But she knew all about sleek royalty
And plastic smiles
Long before her fairy godmother produced the fancy dress.
She left the queen’s entourage behind
And ended up falling, instead,
For the prince-of-a-man who walked her home,
Rag-garbed and ratty-haired
Under the late night stars.

He was the one who held her hand,
And tended the fire,
As she nursed each of her precious children.
Together, (moon-struck chimney sweeps that they were),
They swept up a pile of fine memories:
Simple picnics, chores shared, love won,
And stored them behind eyes
That smile
As they watch their granddaughters
(Wishes each one)
Play princess by the fireside,
In a peace-filled house
Peopled by three generations
Of glowing women
Not afraid to get their hands dirty,
Or to laugh long and loud,
Or to dance in bare feet.

Who says there is no such thing
As happily ever after?

Donna Quattrone writes mythic fiction and poetry, does Celtic artwork and is currently discovering that there is life after grad school. (UPENN) She is a native of Bucks County, PA and lives with two feline affection junkies and a multitude of books.

Image: Edmund Dulac