(with apologies to any fairy tale purists ...)
Prince – now King – Charming worried.
His once youthful princess seemed distracted.
Ella (liked calling her that, to remove
the Cinders from her name),
his Ella had been pining for her childhood
showing indifference, even
forgetfulness, toward the step-
sisters, -mother who had tortured her.
Ella had been discussing the issue of mice
with the servants in the castle,
although life had been rodent-free
for years. She called them “her liverymen.”
He worried that she had never truly
found happiness in this fairy tale world.
One day Ella disappeared.
When she did not join them at supper
Charming went to her room,
bits of fairy dust glittering in the corner,
he found both glass slippers under
her dressing table. Ball gowns hung in rows
awaiting the parties for which they were made.
After some time, tales came to the castle
of a wandering woodsman, who saw
a handsome woman, silvery blond hair
braided down her back,
walking barefoot in the pumpkin patch,
speaking softly in the vines, now where’s my carriage …