James Valvis — Cinderella in an Age of Litigation

Cinderella stepped out of her carriage

and her fake glass slippers shattered,

sending shards into her feet.

As Cinderella screamed

and blood ran everywhere,

scores of witnesses stepped forward.

So she never made it to the ball,

never danced with the Prince,

and didn’t ever find true love,

but she did win a substantial settlement

from Fairy Godmothers Incorporated

for their use of dangerous footwear,

and from Charming, for his walkway,

which was not lit to specifications.

Days were sweeter after this.

Every midnight, she inspected

her real glass slippers.

Not even a hammer could break them.

Many years later, sitting alone

in her small castle by the sea,

she wondered what her scam

meant to other unfortunate girls,

how they made their dreams come true

with the Godmothers out of business

and Charming filing for bankruptcy,

but then her bowing stepsisters arrived

for her foot bath and back rub

and she forgot all about it.


James Valvis is the author of two collections of poetry and has placed poems or stories in Ploughshares, River Styx, Arts & Letters, Asimov’s, Natural Bridge, Southern Indiana Review, The Sun, and many others. His poetry was featured in Verse Daily. His fiction was chosen for Sundress Best of the Net. A former US Army soldier, he lives near Seattle. You can follow him on Twitter at @JamesValvis.