Lost upon a time, not so long ago
were the girl with the spindly legs
and the boy with the sunken chest.
In fairy tales we find fruit entices.
No matter what their age, no one
ever thinks to just utter no thanks.
Arsenic lingers in blushed apples.
Crisp peels swaddle witches’ curses.
But misshapen and bruised produce
isn’t offered, no matter how sweet.
And cursory characters don’t garner
fruit from strangers. No one talks
back from our mirrors except for us.
So then we discover our own story.
On a floor sticky with spilled drinks,
remember how the frizzy haired girl
danced with the ashy elbowed boy,
and indoor constellations throbbed
to the house music of the spheres?
Like Hansel and Gretel learned,
home is where a path should lead,
even with a candy dish full of dust.
When we were spindly and sunken,
frizzed and frazzled, and so young
sounds like a dream we’d forgotten,
that’s the time we came upon once.
About the Author: Ronnie Sirmans is an Atlanta newspaper journalist whose poems have appeared in The South Carolina Review, Tar River Poetry, Gargoyle, The American Journal of Poetry, BlazeVOX, The Museum of Americana, Deep South Magazine, Blackbox Manifold, and elsewhere.