Free verse

Day 346: Snow White’s Question

“I am searching?” I said to the mirror
“For what?” my reflection asked.
So I held up the photo of us,
the one we took before
before stories of who
we were supposed to be
took over the narratives
we wanted to create.

“I am sorry,” my reflection said,
“For what?” I asked the mirror.
She showed me the story of us,
as we truly were,
neither good nor evil
but afraid to mend the small cuts,
we gave each other,
letting them bleed and fester.

“Now what do I do?” I cried,
a girl with a mirror,
not knowing what questions to ask,
what answers to seek.
Gazing at illusions
of things that never were.
Left with the only words
I can ever recall

“Mirror Mirror on the wall,
who is the fairest
of them all.”

© Manivillie Kanagasabapathy

AN: I am fascinated with fairy tales – growing up they were also the ones with the female leads. Though granted they were being rescued, but they were women who were confronting things. Life outside the home (Snow White); taking a risk and doing something for themselves (Cinderella); Enjoying the simple life (Aurora – Sleeping Beauty); being independent, even when her family said no (Ariel – Little Mermaid); stepping outside of gender norms and fighting bad guys (Mulan) and being unique, smart and a book worm (Belle – Beauty and the Beast). Forgive all the Disney references, but they are the most shared and universal, though I have read many different kids versions of the above stories.

As I grew up, I began to learn about the darker nature of these stories, and more than turning me off, these stories began to grow in richness and depth. They made me think about these characters in a different way, which ends up coming through in my poetry.

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