(170) Not a Fairy Tale (Found Poem)

This is a poem I found in chapter 2 of Marian Palaia’s The Given World. image

I have paired it with the song “She’s Not There” by the Zombies.

Not a Fairy Tale


a flimsy rainbow arced over the town

she wasn’t anywhere near the end of it

she had a real name

but he didn’t know it

he couldn’t picture her in a fairy tale

hippie white girl with crazy green eyes

a pocketful of peyote

a secret

untamed and intangible.


Bones, she whispered.

Bones no one is ever going to find.

My brother’s twenty-one.

He always will be.


He liked the skirt

denim, reconfigured from a pair of bell-bottoms

the way she had the tail of her

red-and-black-checked flannel shirt tied in front,

the bandanna around her wrist.

“Hey, Ginger, where are your dancing shoes?”

She pushed off with one foot

and spun on the ball of the other,

lifted her head

and flung her body upright in motion.

“Why, Mr. Astaire, you’re late.”

“Late? Late for what? How late am I?”

“I had a dream you were coming.

But that was months ago.

You. are. late.”

He couldn’t tell if she was serious.

“What were we doing when I got here?”

“I didn’t get that far. I woke up.”


“What’s the scar?”

“I fell.”  She didn’t say anything more.

“Did it hurt?”

“Don’t remember much. I was on the roof.”

“What were you doing on the roof?”

“Throwing rocks at my brother. I deserved to fall.”

“No one deserves that.”

“I did.”


She let him kiss her.

She smelled of rain and dog and hay.

He felt as if some peculiar magic

had turned him into an overgrown stuffed animal.

He wasn’t even sure why he had come,

the pull too great to resist.

This one seemed breakable;

a deer who knew you weren’t going to shoot it

let you get so close

then bolt to the edge of the clearing,

the forest impenetrable behind her.

She knew he couldn’t follow.


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