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No one ever told me I was a princess.

My little ponies were valiant animals
carrying ninja turtles into battle.
Pink hair was fire
Strands of glitter: pure electricity
Big eyes and smiles just smokescreens
My Little Trojan Horse

No one ever told me I was a princess.

I had drum sticks for scepters and
the sweat from my brow made all the gems
fall off my tiara.
I got my ball gown caught on a nail
I lost a slipper while climbing the ladder
to paint the glass ceiling black.
I nearly choked on my pearls
opening my mouth wide enough
to let my mind speak.

No one ever told me I was a princess,

so I stayed out past midnight.
The poison apple? I spit it out.
Ariel didn’t fool me; my voice is
not available for barter.
Damsel in distress over the state of things,
wondering how our daughters will
paint their own escape route rainbows
when they've only been handed pink crayons.
Getting called out for “slut-shaming” Tinkerbell
when my only concern is that
she wasn’t the one who picked out that dress.

No one ever told me I was a princess,

or that I was perfect, flawless, impeccable.
My mom did not swaddle me
in a false sense of security blanket;
I learned to generate heat with friction.
Paving my own way became an addiction
and I was never force fed that bitter fiction
that lulls even ugly stepsisters
into a trance like Sleeping Beauty-
believing that they are free within the castle walls that surround them
because the ornate antique mirrors lining every corridor
give the impression of a less confining space.

No one ever told me I was a princess.
That’s how I came to believe I could be queen.


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