Prince Charming by Vince Gotera

Prince Charming
Vince Gotera
                      With quotes from Ann Sexton’s poem
                     “Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs”

Well, yeah, that’s what they call me 
in the books and movies, but my name 
is really Clarence. I like the nickname Ren. 

Don’t you think Prince Ren sounds royal?
But my father The King always insisted on
Prince Clancy. Why? Because king! Ha ha.

Last June, I was in the mountains 
hunting and found a glass box— 
a glass coffin, I guess—in a clearing 

with a gorgeous girl asleep inside.
Well, she had to be dead. She lay as still
as a gold piece. . . . doll’s eye shut forever.

She was warded by seven dwarfs,
wise and wattled like small czars.
I wanted the girl and they said no.

What? No? I’m Prince Ren, you freaks!
I drew my sword and brandished it 
to the sky. “I’ll shish kebab the lot of you!”

They saw my point. Ha ha. After my band
of armored knights and archers arrived
and tortured two or three of them.

My men, carrying the glass girl down
the mountain, dropped the coffin.
Seems she had a poisoned apple chunk

Stuck in her throat and the glass breaking
Heimlich’d it out, and she woke. Magic kiss?
 Nah. Who knows how long she was dead?

Snow White rolled her china-blue doll eyes
open and shut. That made me love her. Ha ha.
We married and now live happily ever after.

But first I had her mother killed and—
can you keep a secret?—also my old man.
King Ren and Queen Snow. Forever. Ha ha.

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