I just learned today that one of my writing teachers from college died on Monday of an apparent heart attack. He was an amazing poet, mentored by Theodore Roethke, and thought I’d make a great poet too.
He was wrong.
But here’s one of the last poems I’ve written that I thought was worth anything, in his honor:
The Girl Who Always Dies in the Fairy Tales
Not clever enough, not fast enough, hit by a bus, hit by a stray bullet, sacrificed to the ogre, the mad king, the dragon, the vengeful god, thrown from the horse on the way to the Beast’s abode, not the feisty eldest daughter, not the beautiful youngest, the sixth of 10 children, eight of them boys, average, dowry of goat’s milk and cheese, tin coins, a wrinkled dress, take her off our hands please.
Not the princess, not the queen, the milkmaid, the farmer’s coy daughter.
Nobody special, just dead.
Dead, dead, dead.
(It’s a prose poem.)
(Don’t mind my crying, please.)