Rapunzel Retold

This story is paired with “Rapunzel” 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. 


In a white lacey frock complete with sewn in
tiny mirrors she’s pretty locked up
in a tower.
Every night celebrates Hope in a Jar, or
thieving Fathers. Every morning
she thinks her mother is a bitch,
pulling her hair.
There is the hair, yes, but a better
asset is her tenacity.
Rip out the window hook and
gauge out the Enchantress’s eyes just as her
bloated face pops into view.
Then use your hair to
bungee jump out of this
ivory tower, you basket case.
Fast forward twenty years:
you hitchhiked out of the desert
made it to the Big Apple.
You lose men’s phone numbers
(and pens) in your hair, find them
stuck to your Miu Miu hemline
in the Conde Nast lunchroom.
You beat that assault charge
and reinvented yourself.
It’s all about Pop of Color, Tokyo
Chic, Jasmine cleanses. Downward
dog your way into some new
Swarovski crystals and spouse health benefits.
Unclip laundry, drink kale
smoothies, hand out collapsible
umbrellas to school children, hide pills.
Really not much to show for it all.


jennifer-mcbain-stephensJennifer MacBain-Stephens graduated from New York University and currently lives in Iowa City, IA. She is the author of the chapbook EveryHerDies (ELJ Publications, 2014.) She has work forthcoming at The Blue Hour Magazine, The Blotter, and Red Hill Paint Quarterly