WILLA Review Logo
The Women in Literature and Life Assembly
of
The National Council of Teachers of English
Editor:  Patricia Kelly kellyp@vt.edu
Volume 1
Fall 1992


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The Princess and the Pea

 
Soft decisions pile up
like feather beds
each easy choice
resting lightly
on top, on top


Until finally the woman
climbs up for sleep
and feels at the bottom
some pea that
makes sleep


Impossible and unwelcome

She is no one's princess
these mattresses
this pea self made
her own test
she has been set upon
other beds
tested by other
imposed standards


spread herself
touched four corners
till wrists and ankles ached


Passing, she had a prize
unintended
unacknowledged
that has become
a small hard pea


that bothers only her own
sleep
 

by Nadine Charity


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