Why do we tell these tales to children
who grow to find one day
no magic herb to heal their hurt,
nor castles waiting down the road
and Prince Charming is a toad?
Meeting again these stalwart sons
whom fortune’s malice never deterred,
kind-hearted beasts, the dead returned,
who but must view with deep concern
how even life will turn away
in shame to confess how few
of these things are true?
Yet they offer us something pure
asking simple devotion,
provide a pattern of belief
for regaining a lost vision;
though we know we can never be heroes,
though we remain clodhoppers and goose-girls;
and some of us, unredeemed,
starve in our candied houses
and devour our children.