But it’s Only a Fairy Tale

Act I

Do not shed my leaves.
I will be scorched in the sun!

The trees, her daughters wailed
As the lumberjacks tore their parasols into shreds.

Carry not their cherries and apples away!
How will they be adorned for their suitors?

The mother pleaded as the leather boots
Trampled on her daughters’ fallen fruits.

Then one of the men lit a match
And set the forest ablaze.

Act II

The matchsticks pitied the mother
Who buried her head in her apron.

They jumped out of the cardboard box
And circled around her

Fear us not!
We come to atone for our mistakes.

Your misfortune is an unfinished fairy tale.
And we will write its happy ending.

Wiping the tears trickling down her face
The mother looked at the them and said,

To seek forgiveness for fueling the fire
You must assist me to bless an ailing child.

For a grieving mother can only find relief
Through healing the sad heart of another.

Then suddenly the matchsticks became aligned in rows
Glued to the back of a broken hand mirror

To form the bristles of
A brand new hairbrush.


There sitting upright on the hospital bed,
The mother saw a young boy whose hair was falling out.

What have we here?
A shorn sheep?

Here is a hairbrush
To shepherd those flocks.

Convinced he was daydreaming again
Because how was he to explain

This stunted old woman talking to him by his bed,
The boy brushed the few clumps left

On his scalp
And drifted off to sleep

Only to wake up at home
In his old bed

Astounded by the canopy
of hair that had sprung

Like wild imaginings
From his bald head.


Anum Sattar is a junior studying English at the College of Wooster in Ohio, USA. Her poems have been published in the American Journal of Poetry, Better than Starbucks! Artifact Nouveau, Off the Coast, Strange POEtry, Between These Shores Literary & Arts Annual, Conceit Magazine, A New Ulster, The Cannon’s Mouth, The Journal (i.e. The Journal of Contemporary Anglo-Scandinavian Poetry,) Wilderness House Literary Review, Poydras Review, The Cadaverine, The Wayne Literary Journal, Deltona Howl, The Weekly Avocet (every Sunday Morning,) Poets Bridge, The Ibis Head Review and Tipton Poetry Journal. She won the third Vonna Hicks Award at Wooster. Whenever possible, she reads out her work at Brooklyn Poets in New York City.

Bill Wolak has just published his fifteenth book of poetry entitled The Nakedness Defense with Ekstasis Press. His collages have appeared recently in Naked in New Hope 2016 and The 2017 Seattle Erotic Art Festival. Mr. Wolak teaches Creative Writing at William Paterson University in New Jersey.