Wizards and rainbows and shamrocks of green,
Sweet princesses who grow up someday to be queen,
Peter Pan and princes and white picket fences,
That’s what young dreams are made of.
Poppins and Pippi and a dragon named Puff
said wishes come true with magical starstuff.
It’s easy to deceive young minds that believe
in Forces of Good from above.
We were taught that good fortune is easy to find
if we’d be like the princesses – pretty and kind.
We were too young to know that the seeds grown-ups sow
sprout blossoms of fallacious fluff.
Robin Hood, Cupid, and old Santa Claus,
Alice’s Wonderland, Narnia, and Oz
are people and places that time soon erases
when we call their perfidious bluff.
We fight to believe; we toss pennies in wells.
We wish upon stars and candles and bells.
We clap while we cry so Tinkerbell won’t die,
but believing isn’t always enough.
We learned gender roles and relationship rules
from the fairytale fantasies and storybook schools
that never indicate the glass slipper can break.
We were taught so little about love.
~ Michelle Eberle Arch, 1988