Blackbirdan online journal of literature and the artsSpring 2021  Vol. 20  No. 1
an online journal of literature and the arts
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A Fairy Tale

The first time my grandfather died
only his mother mourned him.
Her son’s new love had a nose too wide
to be Castilian, mestizo curls too thickly
framed her face. Mostly, though, she hated

how in love he was. How clear it was
that one day he’d leave her side.
And so, the day my grandparents said
their wedding vows he died to her.
How many times I studied her photograph,

her straight dark parted hair, her white skin
and fine nose. Her anger like an apple
in a story that we tell, passed down
from child to child. Too lovely to resist,
we’ve grown to like its bitterness.  

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