Melissa Balmain, ‘Not So Snow White’

Things started so well: found a chick in a box,
got her out, and days later, we wed–
such a snap because, speaking of life’s pleasant shocks,
my stepmom-in-law turned up dead.

Home that night, after finally fooling around
(happy ending for both!), I sighed, “Heaven.”
But my wife simply stared at the ceiling and frowned:
“Is that it? I’m accustomed to seven.”


Melissa Balmain writes: “This poem comes from my latest collection, The Witch Demands a Retraction. To anyone who has mistakenly bought a copy of it for little kids: I am sorry. Maybe the book’s subtitle (fairy tale reboots for adults) should have been printed bigger. Or maybe the illustrator, Ron Barrett, should have made his drawings less adorable. Either way, to prevent further disasters in gift-giving, here’s a partial list of topics in the book: Interspecies adultery. Corrupt puppets. Kinky princes. Elderly cannibals. Impotent baked goods. Porcine insurance fraud. And, yes, eightsomes that include Sneezy, Happy and Dopey.”

Melissa Balmain edits Light, America’s longest-running journal of light verse. Her poems and prose have appeared widely in the US and UK. She’s the author of the full-length poetry collection Walking in on People (Able Muse Press), chosen by X.J. Kennedy for the Able Muse Book Award, and the shorter, illustrated The Witch Demands a Retraction: Fairy-Tale Reboots for Adults (Humorist Books). Her next full-length collection, Satan Talks to His Therapist, is due out in fall 2023.

Photo: “Snow White Mural” by ATIS547 is licensed under CC BY-NC-SA 2.0.


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