Sunday, April 14, 2013

NaPoWriMo #14: The Stepmother's Tale

Why should I grant an interview
To one who chides me on my sin
And revels in my current squalor
As you heap judgement on my kin?

For my abuse of Princess Ella,
Call me wicked.  I'll forgive.
But if you dare to call my daughters
That unsightly adjective

I will fly into a rage
And box your ears full with my broom.
Cinders fall upon your face
As I eject you from my home.

But speak to me as once I was:
a noble woman filled with pride
Who loved a captain foreigner
And sailed the ocean by his side.

Two lovely daughters I bore him
And no one called them hideous.
In far lands their dark complexions
Were considered quite beauteous.

Alas, for them, my husband died.
Bereaved, I married his first mate.
The fortunes my love willed to me
Twice doubled his modest estate.

And yet upon our wedding night
His true nature was shown.
He made my daughters servants
In their very own home.

When they cleaned the fireplace,
He said, "Does it not suit them
For who can see the ashes
Smeared upon their swarthy skin?"

Three years they toiled, 'til his death.
I watched helpless all the while.
My daughters bore his mocking
and forgot how to smile.

After his death, the chimney
Still needed to be swept.
Time had come for justice.
Rose-white Ella paid the debt.

Innocent of wrong, perhaps,
But she could not disguise,
The lightness of her figure
Nor the laughter in her eyes.

Three girls suffered the same fate,
Only one wins the reward.
The plain ones live as paupers
While the beauty gets the lord.

I won't send my apologies
To her or any other.
To my own daughters I regret
They had so poor a mother.

--April 14, 2013
Prompt: Persona poem.  (Write from the point of view of a larger-than-life character.)

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