by Alethea Eason
I didn’t know that the swan’s wings were clipped.
I believed they were perfect unlike anything else in Anaheim.
I wanted a dress like Sleeping Beauty’s. I wanted seven
in different colors, and a wand, and a tiara of crystals
in my politically incorrect desire to be a princess.
I bought rock candy with the coins in my plastic
red change purse. When I squeezed, the slit
down the middle opened like lips. It didn’t occur
to me to make a sexual metaphor in 1964,
but the brightly colored crystals sent me into sugary ecstasy
that certainly rotted my teeth. My reputation had to wait.
A year before, in second grade, sitting on the cafeteria floor,
we watched the movie. I felt the puncture of my own
index finger when the poisoned needle pierced Aurora.
Now, at eight, bobby pins stung my scalp. My mother
secured my black mouse hat (with a bow) to my thick
dark hair with those little bastards.
The calliope music lured me across the sill
of Fantasyland to King Arthur’s carousel. I yearned
for the black horse with the white tail and purple mane.
* * * * *
Alethea Eason is an award-winning writer and artist who has found happiness and her true home in the intersection of desert and mountains in southern New Mexico.