Volume 2 Number 2

MYTHOLOG

Spring 2004



Sleeping Beauty: A Spindle Full of Freedom

Elizabeth Barrette


A hundred years of dreams –
I would not have given up an hour
From the spindle to the dust.

I lived my life as a child lives,
Hidden from the world, indwelling:
A hundred years of dreams.

They do not understand –
I lived my life as a child. Lives
Guttered out around me.

My parents held me close.
They said I had no discipline, but
I would not have given up. An hour

In the sun would have been enough.
My parents held me. Close
The door, I said to myself.

An old hag brought the wheel, but
It was my hand that reached
For the spindle. The dust

Lifted like the wings of doves.
An old hag brought the wheel, but
It was my life that turned around.

From then until now,
I have slept my freedom,
A hundred years of dreams.

How much has time rivered away
Since then? Until now,
It mattered not.

Yet all that time, they came and came,
Heedless of the sheltering thorns –
Who would not have given up an hour

To set his lips against mine?
So all that time, they came. I came
To hate them, every one.

When the last prince kissed me awake,
By charms unknown, my heart turned
From spindle to dust.

The best of my dreams shattered
When the last prince kissed me. Awake,
I was bound by convention again.

From the spindle to the dust,
I would not have given up an hour
Of a hundred years of dreams.


Illustration by Mike "Warble" Finucane


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