RDW's poems

Rapunzel — Bald, Punk, Wannabe

Bald Rapunzel

Rapunzel had it easy: she had hair —
and a suitor, to try to prise her out —
unlike our balding fifty-year-old man
(well, fifty-plus).  Nobody suited him.

He is confined upright inside a tower.
He holds the bars.  He stares between the bars.
The tower is a zoo turned inside out.
Around the tower the creatures roam at will.

He paces; does his institutionalised
repetitive behaviour: work and back,
and work and back.  It’s even worse in bed —
that tower within a tower — punishment cell.

The place you learn the meaning of alone,
where you can see and hear, but never touch
the only other person on your side.
She also stares through bars, has her own views
****************

Rapunzel Punk

The story says the Knight climbed up her hair,
but actually she did it by herself:
climbed down on her own hair.  It tied her there
but that was easy: she just cut it off.

Rapunzel Punk, divested of her hair —
Long hair’s so much responsibility —
one problem Bald Rapunzel did not share.
He only had his own ability

to emulate her act as best he might.
He felt alone, and weak, and ill-equipped
to face the vertigo, the terror, and to fight
his way down handholds, sudden death if slipped.

And then he found she’d given more than hope:
she’d left her hair still hanging as a rope.

2003
****************

Rapunzel Punk Wannabe

The story says the suitor climbed her hair,
but she would have to do it all herself:
go down on her own hair. (sic)  It tied her there,
but that was easy: she could cut it off.

Unfortunately — her hair was just too short.
Two metres left to go and she ran out
of hair, of luck, and also any sort
of tool with an ability to cut.

Even her sharp (ish) tongue failed her, for once.
Also her arms; she couldn’t climb, or crawl
back up. At first she felt a sort of dunce
and then she didn’t feel anything at all.

Her two feet turned to two two-metre feasts:
the jumping range of larger woodland beasts.

2004
****************

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