A Piece of Glass
by Jeannine Pitas

Rapunzel never came down from the tower.
Cinderella ended up living alone.
Mirror mirror, she never said.
She wasn't going to let a piece of glass
tell her right from wrong.
Look here, the witch snarled.
She bore a gold box covered in jewels.
All your heart's desires are inside.
She gave it to me and disappeared, and ever
since then I've carried it always.
I know that if I'd just open it, I'd see all of it -
bright, racing waterfalls and scattered red seeds,
magic lanterns and shining carpets,
everything flying among tiny stars.
Just lift the lid and the world grows bigger,
or I grow smaller, Alice sipping wine
from the enchanted cup.
Maybe I could stay forever in Wonderland,
set off for the place where animals talk,
where children listen.
But it's not enough to listen.
It's not enough to talk.
The witch renewed her beauty,
but lost her power over others.
Little Red still believes in the kindness of wolves,
but she won't put down her knife.
It's not enough to wander the woods, to
open a magic box. In the end,
there's nothing inside but a mirror.
Do you really think a piece of glass
can tell you what you want?

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