In Search of Sleeping Beauty

February 20, 2008
By Baobao Zhang, Alexandria, VA

I shall tell you, Child, the hopeless lie
they’ve repeated again and again.
How those Charming boys would never die—
Always rising, always…again.

Oh, how will you, Child, recall the wars
locked behind fairies’ cellar doors?

The prince—too brightly lit by youthful pride
(or was it passion?)—traversed ‘cross the land
in search of Her. Atop some bannered horse
and gauntly decked with silver lance,
he boldly charged o’er briars thick with thorns—
tumbling against geography.
At last, our burden weary cavalier,
half-struck by love and wrecked with fever pains,
neared the picket woods of Her palace walls.

Onward to glory,
onward to war,
and onward to Hades’ cellar door.

The scent of blood lingered like hollowed mist
between the blighted pines and lifeless men.
In that silence, he heard the rustling of
a dying steed—so bright and crimson.
And he saw a frame, tall and whitely bare,
whose face twisted in agony
and disillusioned like a broken string.
There’re no paths between fear and gallantry—
And only one way ‘cross the Dragon’s jaw.

Onward to glory,
onward to war,
and onward to Hades’ cellar door.

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