Threes and Keys

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. 


why were you so cruel to me?

I wanted to protect you
from the wolves.
I wanted to keep you
in the castle
and make you into
a slender beautiful
with tiny feet,
a swan like neck,
and long, thick hair
because beauty is essential to a positive future.
I wanted you to be subservient
and not too proud,
to marry a prince of my choosing
and live in your rose covered cottage
with your princelings.
I wanted your love and loyalty.
I wanted things that were
diametrically opposed.
I still want them.
I want magic.

I wish I could have slept more
and I wish I’d had
the keys to open all the doors
and the answers to all the riddles.
But I did not
and it is hard to love
a fire breathing dragon
with three heads.


julie-wenglinskiJulie Wenglinski has been published in Port Yonder Press, Puff Puff Prose Poetry and a Play, and she has won two awards from Virginia Commonwealth University for short stories.