The Wishing Tree


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The tale of Cinderella, taken from the original tale and varying slightly.

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practical girl

practical girl who is content with this life,
practical girl who would want more
but does not have more
and does not weep for what is not,
sweeping and cleaning and washing,
under the scorn of your family

you listen to your mother,
abide by her orders that carry on
beyond the grave,
when you ask for the first branch
to brush your father’s head
on his way home,
even as your step-sisters
eagerly request decorative gowns
and you plant it upon your mother’s grave,
and grow a tree your mother said to wish on
should you ever have a wish,
and you do not do so,
for your mother’s magic is so potent

you remember watching with wide, inquisitive eyes
as your mother brewed potions and cast spells
you remember how strong the magic was,
remember not allowing your mother,
denying her and running from her,
when she tried to cast enchantments on you
you do not fear magic itself,
not magic and what it means,
you fear your mother’s magic,
fear the power behind it,
how it inhabits a room,
is too potent,
and you never wish upon the tree

your step-mother watches you
with cold and stone-hard eyes,
but you are a practical girl,
and you do every task that she demands,
so she is not a monster
and your stepsisters are vain gossips,
kind in moments that will not be remembered,
sneer at you and do not help you,
but are not needlessly vicious
and you are content,
not happy,
not unhappy,

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You hear your step-sisters whispering of the masquerade ball that every girl will be invited to, of the ball the prince is throwing to find a bride to wed, and you are there when the invitation embossed on decorative paper with a curving calligraphy is given. You want to go. You plead with your step-mother who has never been cruel and she denies you with lips painted her signature pale pink pursed.

You are practical,
                but you are just a girl,
                                and all you want is
                                                to have fun and
                                                                dance the night away

You go to your mother’s tree for aid, you wish with your heart, innocently, for three nights. Three nights to dance and laugh and then you will return to being content. You do not want more. You want simplistic fun, you want to just be normal for once and not Cinderella, the girl whose family treats her like a slave, who responds to an insult like her own name. Her name is meant to be Eleanor, elegant and not derogatory, and instead she is Cinderella. Is that so bad, to want to wear a mask for one night?

You are just a girl,
                you are young,
                                you want to-
                                                not be yourself,
                                                                be someone else,
                                                                                for just three nights

You wish with your heart
upon your mother’s wishing tree
just as she had told you so long ago
and your wish is granted as you wanted

“Mother, mother
please grant my wish   
make me a mask and clothes,                   
allow me to go the ball, please                                
just for the three nights there are                                            ,
allow me to be normal for once,”                                                             

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the missing slipper

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the prince's men

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