Once, when beasts could shed the expensive fur

of an evil spell, and pigs find the tools

to save themselves, the frog words to secure

his place beside all that beauty, the mule—

beyond his usefulness—who lugged those sacks

of music deep inside for Brementown

proved (like the mermaid’s chronic bellyaches

to know how suffering makes one heaven’s own),

led me to believe anything was possible.

Even disappointment—having first crossed

my path disguised as a newt, for whom high

ground’s shoebox palace was never fable

to one day finding water, getting lost—

disappointment on its own true wand relies.



Shelley Benaroya

Shelley Benaroya is founding director and teaching artist for the Writing Center for Creative Aging (www.writingcenterforcreativeaging.com), launched in 2008. Her poetry has appeared in all the sins, Diner, Ekphrasis, Letters Journal, The Lyric, The Road Not Taken, Thirteenth Moon, and elsewhere. In 2017, she received the Ekphrasis Prize and a Pushcart Prize nomination.

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