Fairy Tale Eating Disorders
No food is safe in a fairy tale,
a single bite enough to stop your heart,
or put you into a coma.
So who could blame the starving wolf
for wanting to eat Little Red,
suck the gristle off her skeletal frame,
hidden behind her Riding Hood,
the picnic basket a rouse,
so the girls won't notice at school,
her sharp shoulder blades and sallow skin
stretched over toothpick ribs.
And what about Snow White,
who already has texture issues,
she'll never eat fresh fruit again,
or comb her hair for that matter,
because the mirror is back talking,
making her paranoid about the Prince,
says he's got eyes for a skinny maid,
so she'll hide her dinner in napkins,
or discreetly vomit in a chamber pot,
the comfort she once took in apples
now gone to rot.
Pity the witch in her candy house,
luring chubby children into her oven,
having them build their own pyre,
she's too weak to even cut them up,
hopes their flesh will fall off the bone
into her swollen mouth, even a crone
isn't safe these days from poison,
and irrational fear of processed foods.
And Cinderella, slenderizing for the ball,
working her fingers to the bone, blaming
the stepsisters, so she can fit in a size zero,
ride a garish coach, not be the pumpkin
she sees in the mirror, that whispers to her
at night, calls her Two Ton Tessie,
says she'll be alone if her foot cracks
the dainty glass slipper, no one likes
a fat Princess.
Originally appeared in In Posse Review, forthcoming in the chapbook, After the Poison, from Finishing Line Press.