Eva Rosenn — “Bear’s Grim Fairy Tale”

Once upon a time
there was a girl named Bear
her mother packed a trunk
and left for Africa
when Bear was three
leaving Bear to clutch
her brand new Barbie

For her twelfth birthday
Bear’s father gave her a globe
mapping the entire world
six weeks later
Bear packed her trunk
to visit her mother
her stepmother said
she wasn’t coming back

Bear found herself
in a wooded place
in Iowa City
novelists and poets
from around the world
invited her to stay
they were very kind

Bear learned to cook
Campbell’s tomato soup
she learned to shoot hoops
and to shoot pool
she watched Star Trek
she became a woman
and wore pantyhose

Her mother taught her
algebra and she excelled
a girl in her class
convinced her
to leave her tests
open to inspection

The girl threw her a party
and gave her a gold necklace
the girl became her lover
but swore her to secrecy
the girl broke her heart

After years of searching
Bear found her home
in an ivory tower
she met a man
whom she married
they moved often
they had children
then he died

Bear’s stepmother
lived on for years
drunk and mad
torturing her father

Bear meanwhile
lived alone
with her old cat
happily ever after


Eva Rosenn lives in Boston in a Victorian house that alas has no turret.  She holds a PhD from Columbia in medieval comparative literature. Her poems have appeared most recently in NYMBM and Burning House Press.