Wednesday, March 13, 2019

Women's History Month: Annette Marie Smith's "A Basket Full of Pears"

When I was Rapunzel I cut off my own hair
(I nicknamed my shining serpent
of waterfall hair Jörmungandr).
I used its braided rungs
to climb down the tower.
Those rungs were a fire escape made of dreams.

When I was Red Riding Hood
I switched my red worsted wool
for something much softer
if sinister
a wolf cape sewn with sinews of cunning
I never knew I had.

When I was Snow White I eschewed
singing to the woodland creatures
and instead sirened out my inner demons
to deal with the queen
and her mirror that bullied us both.
She and her mirror (that looked much like a television screen)
were left in tatters and shatters
on the hard flagstones.

When I was Cinderella I gathered all the cinders to me
and banked the hottest fire from them
that the world has ever seen
and with that intolerable fire
I baked bread.

When I was Vasilisa the Brave I met myself in Baba Yaga.
Her candlelit skulls were fireflies living in ivory domed palaces. 
Her chicken-legged house gave me ideas of my own
to scratch and ponder in the dust of darkness.
I loved that her mortar and pestle
turned out to be manual drive.

When I was The Handless Maiden
my prosthetic hands made me more of a freak than I was before.
Superior silver manufactured man-made was not what I wanted.
They had minds of their own that were not of me.
I tore them off and loved my hands undone.

We all have our own stories within multiple fairytale types
and I am here to tell you that the telling is not yet done.

© 2019 Annette Marie Smith

Annette Marie Smith is a writer, artist, and editor. She is the creator and curator of the international feminist project, Facing Feminism, for which she received a McKnight Foundation grant.

She's the author of The Real Reason the Queen Hated Snow, Tell the Bees, and She Wanted Storms. Her poetry has been nominated for the Pushcart Prize, included in numerous anthologies, and translated into German, Italian, and Spanish for publication internationally. It's traveled the trains and buses within Minnesota's Metro Transit system as featured poetry where boring ads would normally be, and it's found a home featured on the labels of Enchanted Beans coffee beans.

She is currently working on a novel full of myth, adventure, and humor, Monster Songs Sung Low and Sweet. 

Formerly published under Annette Marie Hyder, she is reclaiming her maiden name of Smith in all ways, including publication.

Find out more about her at

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