? SLAB | Sound & Literary Art Book

Issue 11

Contest Winners

Kathleen Williamson

To the Reader Who Buys Every Fairy Tale


Nobody believes the stepmother—
the one with two daughters
who overslept the day God
was handing out looks.

Their mother had hoped
an advantageous marriage
would fatten the coffers
to pay for much needed

rhinoplasty and essential
orthodontia. Alas,
the bank account
was another fairy tale.

Nobody doubts Cinderella.
No one believes that lips
so sublime would spit
out so many lies—

all dressed up like fairy tales.
Look at her sitting
in her own little corner,
conjuring up stories—

scrubbing floors, sweeping ashes.
It’s so easy to fall under
the spell of clear skin
and bright smile, no matter

how outlandish the tale.
It all seems so plausible
when the messenger
has a face like hers.