Another Fine Happy Ending

Another Fine Happy Ending

Hansel and I returned home,

The seams of our pockets splitting open

Under the weight of the witch’s coins,

To our father’s hugs and kisses.

 

Yet how awkward

to sit across the well-set dinner table

making small-talk with the loving father

who crept from us in the woods as we slept.

 

How happily it all turned out, he says.

He babbles about our amazing luck,

our unimaginable story,

which had to be so, for who would hurt a child?

 

Everyone.

 

He knows this. We should have been

reduced to delicate children’s bones,

torn by the wild things

who belong to the forest, who do not cry in the dark.

 

How easy it would be to pin it all

on the stepmother. But she was only

one sad half the sin.

 

He still abetted. At night,

Hansel comforts me again

Since I am as unsettled

in this neat loving home

as in any gingerbread coven.

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