Barnabas J. Ramon-Fortune

Trinidad, West Indies


The clock strikes midnight
and the magic ends:
the fairy tale is over
and the truth offends.
The coronet, the necklace and the gown
and shawl of ermine trimmed with eider down
to tinsel and to ashen rags have turned;
only a slipper, left in haste
upon the stairway, overturned,
remains unchanged and fancy chaste.
The streets are all deserted, save for mice
scuttling for safety through a broken wall
as Cinderella draw her tattered shawl
around her shoulders'
but she feels at once that this will not suffice
to warm her body or to quell her beating heart
which is as cold as ice!
Back to the ashes of her fireplace
back to the dust from which she came
before her fairy touched her with her wand
and put a blush of beauty on her face,
changed all her drabness to magnificence,
set magic to her name
so that no longer could she be the same
she goes and crouches trembling in a corner!
Than she, what other soul could be forlorner!
O, frightened soul, my little Cinderella,
don't you remember that you left behind'
a slipper onto the stair?
You did not disappear
and leave no telltale sign to show
that you were really there:
the lovely maiden of the fairy tale!
Even now, the heavenly prince
is out in search of you,
your slipper in his hand,
to slip upon your foot
and take you back with him
to his own land!
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