Second Generation

Cinderella’s daughter

would have married a poor boy

from the adjoining town.

He seemed to be kind, she thought.

What he said was always meaningful:

It had newness and a slant

that was more compatible with these modern times

than all the fancy clothes,

than the fast and flashy cars

of the genetic washouts

who were her usual courtiers.

In any case she was sure

that this was someone who would make her happy;

so she dreamed

of living in a small cottage with him

by the university.

They would take courses;

they would learn the wherewithal

with which to transform

their pumpkin period piece

of a kingdom

into a modern state.

Her friends laughed,

but her father found it reprehensible,

a form of glassy-eyed idealism he would not tolerate.

So he made plans immediately

to have her sent to a proper boarding school

for young ladies.

Then she dreamed of running off with him.

They would find a place in Greenwich Village,

a small brown-stone perhaps,

and live like hippies.

But someone told, and her mother forbade it.

That is out of the question, she said.

You are a princess. Your father

is a king. And life

cannot be treated like a fairy tale.

You, above all others, must go

by the rules.

So that was the end of the episode.