“Self-Inflicted Fairy Tale”

One more for today… I wrote this poem days before the release of Ever After, and had no idea how close I was to the last line of the film.  The first of a series of three I’ve written so far, this originally untitled poem speaks to me lately, as I live vicariously through the art of others, calling it “seeking inspiration”, instead of making my own.  A bit about the series:

S.I.F.T. Series (Self-Inflicted Fairy Tale)
These poems were actually written in pieces, months apart. The first I wrote days before the premiere of Ever After- I freaked out when I heard the end of the movie, as it was similar to the end of “Self-Inflicted Fairy Tale” and I was afraid people would think I stole it. I’ve even kept the email I sent to my then boyfriend (now husband) in for the date-stamp! The second one I wrote summer 2000, frustrated with computers and their place in my life. I think I actually drew a picture first, then wrote the poem. The last one I wrote in February 2001, at work, just after reading one of the essays in Kate Bernheimer’s book * Mirror, Mirror on the Wall: Women Writers Explore Their Favorite Fairy Tales,* the one on Fitcher’s Bird and Bluebeard, then I realized the sifting is in Cinderella too, and then it’s the initials of my poem series. Weird!

All of them are about my life- the first and last have heavily to do with my work life at the time I wrote them and the dissatisfaction I had with it. I grew up with a heavy interest in fairy tales, to the point I tried to live them. If I had to do chores, I was Cinderella. If I needed to get to sleep, I became Sleeping Beauty. If I felt imprisoned, Rapunzel was my company. In college, I was called Cinderella because I would wear a kerchief on my head and, after I finished washing the floor in my quad, ask my dorm mates if they wanted theirs washed. I was that into it. As I’ve become more interested in adaptations, read the more PC versions, the adult versions, etc., I’ve been trying to find my own identity outside the fairy tales, but cannot associate or write without them. I find writing about real life difficult, or less satisfactory, unless there’s a bit of them there.

Hopefully the words will flow again soon.


Oh, little girl, your life is just a fairy tale waiting to happen.

If you just sit and wait, it will happen.

You’ll fall into an unequated oblivion, Sleeping Beauty’s coma,

Unaware of what’s real and what’s a dream.

You won’t experience the thrill of the chase,

Your life has run away from you, it’s not in your hands.

You’ve left it up to someone you don’t know–

It’s not up to anyone but you.

While you wait, little Cindy, you work and work,

Until you can’t breathe, and need to leave, but it’s too late.

You put your foot in the door too late and lost your shoes.

The pain radiates through your neural paths,

Losing the way, as you walk home.

Dejected and rejected, you shut the world out as punishment.

In the end, you only punish yourself.

You can no longer see what is real

As you keep watch from a tiny window, waiting for a dream,

Only to shut out the nightmares

Before they can show you the light within.

If you fend them off yourself, if you let them inside,

Make them your own,

You may not live happily ever after,

But you will live.

© 2000, Kerrie Colantonio

2 thoughts on ““Self-Inflicted Fairy Tale”

  1. minerva says:

    Ah, Lady Kerrie! Keep going! I love to read your work! ♥

  2. WildBill says:

    Very nice, especially “you put your foot in the door and lost your shoes”. The perfect metaphor.

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