Cendrillion Sunrise

Creeping out from her ash-bed
In the earliest dawn
She stands, grime-streaked,
Wringing her rag in her hands,
To see the dew-gilded unicorns
Slipping away between the trees.

Hearing her name called harshly:
“Cendrillon! Now!”
She turns back to the dark house.
Glancing up at the clear sky
The rays of the sun-flash
Catch gold wings of a dragon’s plunge.

And though the links of her fetters clink
She knows in her secret heart
(Where godmothers rescue, where she dances with princes,)
Drudgery is endurable with sunrise, with dragons.
She shuffles indoors, smiling.
Now this, this, is what happiness is.

8th March 2006