This story is paired with “Cinderella” from Children’s and Household Tales by Jacob and Wilhelm Grimm. For best experience, download the LithoReader for your iPhone or iPad and get NonBinary Review for free.
First strike; the shoes were fur not
glass. No happy ever after; or ever.
He’s false, couldn’t cut it. Second
strike; no class; thinner? Yes, singed
by flashlight; the press of the press
lengths of lens; stains—ash, bleeds
on dazzling dresses. Powder paint
flakes; cloth grows grey And with it
each day—dreams. A curse on you
Godmother, on all other well-meaning
meddlers. He’s, diverted by fertility
doesn’t see cheap tat, saddled rats. On
impulse mice eat the pumpkin; he
takes their White Queen, warms silk
sheets, lights candles; checkmate. Last
strike, the stroke of twelve, a sensual
caress in a dark Paris street. I take a
lover; run wild; laughing in tunnels; fly
high till the glass shatters. Behind the
lens, damp rodents fill gutters; click’s
carrion strobe vies, to gut a damp slipper
Sue Hardy-Dawson lives in the United Kingdom. She is a poet and illustrator and is widely published in children’s anthologies including, among others, A & C Black, Macmillan, Bloomsbury, Schofield and Sims and Oxford University Press. She has also been commissioned to provide workshops for The Prince of Wales Foundation for Children and the Arts.