There was a girl, a girl so vain
Her beauty uncompared
And to the world she did complain
that men would stop and stare
A daughter of the upper class
adorned in fancy clothes
But all the wealth could never mask
The cruelty in her soul.
With hearts and minds the girl did play
"The poor deserve to die"
"They serve no purpose." She would say.
"They have no class. No style."
One day the girl with all her friends
went to a local store
They bumped into an older man
and knocked him to the floor.
No pity shown to this old man
His face did blush with shame.
And when he asked for help to stand
They laughed and called him names.
"My daddy's rich and so am I"
The Beauty said with pride.
"I would not touch your filthy hand"
And smiled at him for spite.
The old man slowly shook his head
and said "You've made your choice"
With no amusement in his tone.
No Humor in his voice.
"you've been given everything"
Your cares were oh, so few.
Why even angels stop and sing
at just the sight of you."
"Compassion's free. You had a chance.
A kindness turned away.
And now you'll see what lives inside.
For you are cursed this day."
The hours came and they did pass
She did not see a change.
But as a week had seen it's last
She started feeling strange.
"perhaps it's something that I've ate.
Perhaps I'm growing ill."
And yet, she had to ask herself
What if the curse was real?
"well, that's just silly and insane!
It's all just in my head."
But even as she made this claim
Her heart was full of dread.
And so the sun began to rise
She caught the mirror's gaze.
What she saw could not be real.
She stood there in a daze.
Her eyes grew wide with terror.
She could not make a sound.
She could not prepare for this.
This horror that she found.
Once where pearly whites did show
now yellow teeth decay
And where her golden locks did flow
were wispy strands of grey.
Her alabaster skin - no more
Like leather, it became
It cracked and aged - showed every pore
Her hands showed every vein.
Her bones began to ache and throb
and burned with her despair.
Into her hands, she weeped and sobbed
"My god! This isn't fair!"
"Daddy! HELP!" She screamed aloud.
"Please! Oh, please! Come soon!"
His footsteps thundered up the stairs
And burst into the room.
Thick with panic in the air.
Alarm rang on his face.
And as he saw her standing there.
His eyes burned red with rage.
"WHO ARE YOU?! And where's my child?!
MY ONLY PRIDE AND JOY?!
AND IF YOU'VE HARMED A SINGLE HAIR
YOUR LIFE - I SHALL DESTROY!"
"Get out. Get out! GET OUT!!" He yelled.
"My patience has grown thin!
I never want to see your face
within my house again!"
So, from her home of eighteen years
The girl was forced to roam.
For months she wandered on the streets
With no place else to go.
One afternoon within the park
She saw the older man.
She knew she'd been expected.
Like this had all been planned.
In silence on the wooden bench
Her soul awash in shame.
She sat beside the older man
And accepted all the blame.
"I see. I see. I understand.
I know that I was wrong.
My life was that of pride and hate.
And had been all along."
"This lesson I've learned well, I swear.
I'm sorry, dear old sir.
I ask for your forgiveness
I know I don't deserve."
"I see the truth at last, I do.
My beauty was skin deep.
and if you will release this curse,
This promise I shall keep."
The old man slowly shook his head.
Then with a heavy sigh.
He took her wrinkled hand in his
and looked into her eyes.
"oh, how I longed to hear those words.
So lovely to my ear.
And though they may be bittersweet,
I think they are sincere."
"But, it's too late. I'm sad to say.
What's done is done, my dear."
And with a nod, he walked away
and left her to her tears.
The sun set low. The sky grew dark.
She planted foot to sand.
But when she tried to leave the park
She found she couldn't stand.
Then down the path - a girl so fair
came strolling with a friend.
with milky skin and raven hair
She must be heaven sent.
"Would you mind?", She asked the girl.
"Please help me to my feet?
I cannot seem to find the strength
for I am feeling weak."
The young girls simply stared at her.
The seconds slowly passed.
Then they began to mock and tease
their voices, burst with laughs.
"Oh, you poor don't understand"
The young girl said with pride.
"I simply cannot lend a hand.
It isn't worth my time."
© Copyright 2016 J Christopher Bartley. All rights reserved.