Janice D. Soderling


The Younger Stepsister Speaks Out About That Glass Slipper

Laugh if you like but I needed that prince
like a lounge needs a VIP.
To get him I spared neither pain nor expense,
being ugly and past thirty-three,
without title or family tree.
My prospects were terribly dim.
You get nothing for nothing, for nothing is free.
So I cut off my toes to get him.

Sneer if you will but that wuss Cinderella
with god-ma flew out on four big shopping trips.
She brought back a ball gown from Coco Chanela.
She botoxed her lips. Suctioned her hips.
Makeup: Sam Fine. Diamond ear clips.
Slim like she’d spent half her life at the gym.
My gray cells went black as a lunar eclipse
and I cut off my toes to get him.

I did it. I did it. I didn’t once wince.
Don’t tell me I should have thought twice.
Don’t yadda about I should have better sense.
It isn’t so nice when one’s mice remain mice.
You win or you lose on one roll of the dice
and life without money is grim.
A prince in the pot is worth double the price,
so I cut off my toes to get him.


Would I do it again? Do bears shit in the woods?
I’ve a book deal and, ad interim,
my own TV show, and a new inner glow,
and my feet are remarkably trim.

Janice D. Soderling is a previous contributor to Light. Recent work appears at Rotary Dial, Literary Bohemian, New Verse News, and at Rattle‘s “Poets Respond” feature on current events. Forthcoming work at Modern Poetry in Translation¬†and Wasafiri.