Becoming the Villainess
by Jeannine Hall Gailey
A girl — lovelocked, alone — wanders into a forest
where lions and wolves lie in wait.
The girl feeds them caramels from the pockets of her paper dress.
They follow like dogs.
Each day she weaves for twelve brothers, twelve golden shirts
twelve pairs of slippers, twelve sets of golden mail.
She sleeps under olive trees, praying for rescue.
In her dreams doves fly in circles, crying out her name.
For a hundred years she is turned into a golden bird,
hung in a cage in a witch’s castle. Her brothers
are all turned to stone. She cannot save them,
no matter how many witches she burns.
She weeps tears that cannot be heard
but turn to rubies when they hit the ground.
She lifted her hand against the light
and it became a feathered wing.
She learns the songs of mockingbirds, parakeets, pheasants.
She wanders into the forest more herself.
She speaks of her twelve stone brothers.
There is a dragon curled around eggs. There is a princess
who is also a white cat, and a tiny dog
she carries in a walnut shell.
She befriends a reindeer who speaks wisdom.
They are all in her corner. It seems unlikely now
that she will ever return home, remember what
it was like, her mother and father, the promises.
She will adopt a new costume,
set up shop in a witch’s castle,
perhaps lure young princes and princesses
to herself, to cure what ails her —
her loneliness, her grandeur,
the way her heart has become a stone.
jstor is pure evil
i mean at times i am really thankful for it but like….. i’ve been having so much trouble with it lately and midterms are coming up and yeah this bodes ill for all
god i just spent my week working at an international medieval/renaissance scholars conference and then my professors (all of whom were hosting the freaking conference) load me down with piles and piles of work due this week. like can i get no respite.
international womens day today
dont forget to include trans women, disabled women, women of colour, non-binary people who partly identify as women, queer women, all women.all of them. i don’t want to see any derailed posts today about shit like “international mens day” it doesnt fly like that