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 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.