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Found Poem By Low Jia Yi_3D


This is the tale of the woodman’s daughter, born with a box of ashes

set beside the bed.

She never learned to speak. Her life maimed by her father’s sorrow.

A single blow.

Next came the ball,

her helpless arms finding strength,

but too the obligation to return.

They say they lived happily ever after.

Some say the fable ended there,

but this is a fairy tale not yet written.

This body, so recently reformed, reclaimed,

pretty enough

but with hearts like blackjacks.

A suspicion, a doubt,

grew in my mind,

what if I forgot to kill myself?

My head dips, bleeds

over the ground, on tousled patches of grass.

I stared in the mirror,

and here it comes,

just when the tale

should have come to an end.

I don’t mind dying

ritually, since I always rise again

These events repeated themselves,

turning the hairs on my head to filthy snakes.

I’m foul mouthed now, foul tongued,

yellow fanged.

Wasn’t I beautiful

Wasn’t I fragrant and young?

Look at me now.

Adapted from:

Agha Shahid Ali. “The Wolf's Postscript to ‘Little Red Riding Hood’.” A Walk Through the Yellow Pages. SUN-Gemini Press, 1987.

Crucefix, Martyn. “George and the Dragon.” Beneath Tremendous Rain. Enitharmon Press, 1990.

Duffy, Carol Ann. “Medusa.” The World’s Wife. Picador, 1999.

Fanthorpe, U.A. “Not my Best Side.” Selected Poems. Enitharmon Press, 2014.

Howe, Sarah. “Tame.” Loop of Jade. Chatto & Windus, 2015.

Ng Yi-Sheng. “Ne Zha.” Last Boy. Firstfruits Publications, 2006.

Sexton, Anne. “Cinderella.” Transformations. Mariner Books, 1971.

Yolen, Jane. “Fat is not a Fairytale.” Such a Pretty Face: Tales of Power and Abundance, edited by Lee Martindale, Meisha Merlin Publishing, 2000.

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