Snow White Goes Gray—Jeana Jorgensen

For every silver hair I plucked
in my thirties, I am sorry;
now they spring up,
a reverse snowfall from
a bed of coal-black hair.

I am sorry too
about the red-hot iron shoes—
sorry that I accepted the corset stays,
the comb, the apple,
reveled in them, even;
sorry that I mistook
every sign from you as
hostility, not a warning.

Married to a prince anyway
I miss my mother,
and I am sorry
we will not grow old together,
because you never showed me how.

Jeana Jorgensen earned her PhD in folklore from Indiana University. She researches gender and sexuality in fairy tales and fairy-tale retellings, folk narrative more generally, body art, dance, and feminist/queer theory. Her poetry has appeared at Strange Horizons, Nevermore Journal, Liminality, Glittership, and other venues. Her recent book Folklore 101 is available and is perfect for anyone who wants to learn more about folklore.

photo by Priscilla Du Preez (via unsplash)