Poem: A MODERN DAY CINDERELLA, by A.L. Jobrail

A candidate must not be soiled
Virginal as the freshly fallen snow.
So that with his first thrust all will know that the issue is his, not another’s.
Her beauty shall be as the airbrushed ads
That taunts us into buying their products to achieve what is beyond our grasp.
To deny herself and her needs will bring happiness ever after.

Once upon a time
There was a prince.
Dumbo was his name
He searched for his Snow White of porcelain beauty.

Woman after woman threw herself at the prince.
He flicked them aside as a hunter does a wayward branch
Alas! He found his true Cinderella
Not sweeping cinders but nurturing young minds.

“Marry her. Marry her quickly!
She must not know.
Marry her to maintain respectability.
She is of a noble bloodline”
Said the queen grasping at straws.

“But Mother, I love another who is not free” he whined.
“Spare this kingdom the shame. Form the alliance!”
He rushed to his true love’s side presenting her with a token of his love
Then he scurried off to marry his princess-to-be.

The princess truly loved her Prince Dumbo
And despite his large ears gave him two heirs.
She lived for him and his happiness
Was not this her royal duty?
Whatever happened to happily ever after?

He never loved her and made it clear
I will hunt and keep myself busy.
Appearances are everything to mother.

“Behave yourselves,” said the queen
“I will not have a scandal.
Put on your makeup and take your places.
Your audience is waiting”

The princess ate and purged the loneliness
Let me die and leave this spotlight I cannot escape
The crowds adore me, but not my love
He has no love, no compassion.

Using her notoriety as a conduit
The princess channeled her unreturned love on charity
Follow me if you dare
Across the hidden minefields
To the orphans of the aftermath of war
To the other side of the tracks
To the children, especially the children.

“Conduct yourselves as expected of one in your standing.
Image is everything to the crown.
Deny the truth and squelch the rumors.
Remember you are a happily married couple.
And don’t forget to wear your hat!” said the queen.

Please! I beg of you
No longer can I pretend
If the show must go on
Let it go on without me and my sons.
The princess wanted to free her wings
Feel the wind as she soared on her own
To live without the spotlight.

The vultures circled
They were used to waiting
It was a way of life for them
Give us anything
A tidbit here, a tidbit there
We’ll blow it out of proportion.

Finally, the princess gave in
Her blood splashed across the headlines
Screaming the truth.
Flash! Flash!
Prince has a lover on the side
Read all about it
He loves another, not me!
I know and can do nothing.

The queen rolled up the red carpet
Tiptoeing, the press and biographers gained access through the back door
Tongues wagged incessantly as puppy dogs’ tails.

Quick to the press!
Because mine is the truth
Mine is the best
Chide the salivating vultures
The predators return to pick over the bones.

“Off with their tongues!” Shouted the queen.
They tell nothing but lies
The vultures ignored protocol
And the denouncements of the queen
.
And what of the princess?
She cleared every hurdle
And moved forward with Prince Dumbo
Temporarily forgetting the happily ever after ending
Peace of mind and a rested soul were more important
No longer did she seek relief with her finger.

Take care and beware of princely knights
Roaming and sowing their seeds
They know not what they are doing
Unless. . .
They follow the cue of the queen.

Author: poetryfest

Submit your Poetry to the Festival. Three Options: 1) To post. 2) To have performed by an actor 3) To be made into a film.

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