What Her Mirror Saw
by Meryl Stratford

She begged for her life.
She wished for a beautiful child.
She disguised herself as an old woman.
She cooked, made beds, washed clothes.
She knocked at the door: pretty things for sale.
She said her prayers before she slept.
She lay in a glass casket for all to see.
Her mirror never lied.
From her window, she watched the falling snow.
She ignored the warning, opened the door.
She opened her eyes, sat up, and looked around.
Her mirror said she was not beautiful enough.
Her blood dripped, red, on the white snow.
She danced in the red hot shoes.
She questioned her mirror.
She fell down as if dead.
She died giving birth to a daughter.
She combed her ebony hair.
She uttered a curse.
Her mirror said she was beautiful.
She was dead; she remained dead.
She wanted to kill the beautiful child.
She married the prince.
She created a poison apple, a beautiful poison apple.
She lived in the king’s castle.
She lived in a cottage.
She laughed.
She ate the poisonous apple.
She went to the wedding.
She kept everything neat and clean.
She ran down a dark path into the forest.