|Kate Schmitt earned her M.F.A. and Ph.D. from the University of Houston. She is a visual artist as well as a writer, and her work has appeared in journals and anthologies, including I Just Hope It’s Lethal, The Weight of Addition: An Anthology of Texas Poets, Third Coast, The Florida Review, and New South. She grew up in New Hampshire and Hong Kong and now lives in Florida, where she teaches creative writing and book arts at Florida Atlantic University. |
[once upon a time]
Snow White in her glass box is romantic because we are not the dwarves in mourning. We are not asked to imagine that reality; the fairy tale propels us forward to the kiss. We know the story won’t leave us standing alone above a rectangular mound of dirt because as soon as Once upon a time was uttered we were assured of happily ever after.
But imagine it. Think of the dwarves: men who toil in a dark mine and come home heavy-footed and covered in soot. A woman arrives like a sparrow and makes them a home. Both friend and mother, she fills the empty cupboards in their hearts. Then she is an empty building, a comma. Paused: absent, yet present in the world. A body, a ghost in a glass box.
They put you in a box, too, and time skipped forward, as time does. And the prince got re-married, and your children grew beautiful and strong as hammers and had children of their own. And then, Once upon a time, one of them was born with your poems in her mouth, your blue eyes and yellow hair.
You were my Sleeping Beauty, both bedtime story and spinning wheel: a princess and a shiny needle waiting.
- Excerpt from Singing Bones
Read More from Kate Schmitt:
"Cassandra in Therapy," The Potomac
"Alternate Ending: My Grandmother as Gretel," The Rumpus
Read Vivian Wagner's review of Singing Bones - Brevity