Throwback Thursday (Friday): Fitting In, By Katrina Robinson

Editor's note: "Cinderella" from the shoe's point of view--I did not see that coming. But this poem works. Truly imaginative. Update, 2020: Here's a Throwback Thursday (Friday) delight. It's worth reposting for the reasons listed in my first note. It was first published April 2, 2014. Please note: EC is NOT accepting poetry in 2020. This poem is truly one of my favorites. That’s why it’s up. 

I was meant to be a gift
a precious keepsake
that wouldn’t regress
into forest vermin or a rotting gourd.

Yet, you’re too afraid to reach for me,
unwilling to claim me.
You begged for transformation,
now you’re too fearful to see it through.

How do you think this feels,
the looks that bore through me,
the fingers that stain?
They smother me in grubby heat
when they force themselves in me.
It always hurts.
They never fit.
But I won’t crack,
I won’t break.

After each failed fitting
he looks at me with frustration.
His fingers tighten on me
until I can feel his fractured pulse.

I’m nothing to him,
just a conduit to you.
We’ve both been abandoned and refused,
stuck at a standstill
since the moment you ran away.

I endure each stifling touch,
each crass inspection,
while you cower in the corner.

I won’t beg you to claim me.
You don’t even know
of the courage needed for the next step –
the servants who will whisper behind your back,
the gentry that will sneer.

Once I’m yours again,
you can’t crack,
you can’t break.
You must withstand it all.

But if you can’t,
then just stay in that corner
with your tattered head rag
and soiled sundress.
I’ve been through worse
than your rejection.

Katrina Robinson was, at the time of this poem’s original publication, pursuing an MFA in Creative Writing and Publishing Arts at the University of Baltimore. Her publishing credits include V Magazine for Women, the W.W. Norton Hint Fiction Anthology and two issues of Enchanted Conversation (the "Beauty and the Beast" issue and the "Snow White" issue).

Biggest Reason You Won’t Get Published

I’m just the editor at a small niche blogazine, so don’t take this statement as a universal truth for every mag, but here’s the biggest reason why you won’t get published in Enchanted Conversation in 2020:

You don’t read Enchanted Conversation

That’s really it. I’m back in the game after a two-year break, but nothing has changed. People will submit utterly inappropriate stories for the site because they don’t want to do the ”work” of actually reading the published stories on it.

But if you think that reading EC is a job you dread, then you shouldn’t submit here.

The site does not exist to serve writers. It exists to entertain readers. Period. Therefore, be a reader of this site. Be especially vigilant about reading the Throwback Thursday posts, which feature stories I would publish again in a heartbeat. Everything you need to know about what I like will be on display for you, every Thursday.

You don’t want to copy what others have written. You want to see the structure, detail and pacing of what I like. It’s not complicated. Give your story your own fresh twist.

Fairy tales aren’t complicated, but they are distinct genre. And if you think that any idiot can write a fairy tale, then you won’t get published. I can sense condescension in a first paragraph—I’ve encountered a lot of it over the years of publishing EC.

People who actually read Enchanted Conversation have a much higher rate of publication. They know EC and they  love it. They comment. They’ve internalized the rhythm and content of the site. They use what they know to bring fresh stories to the site. That’s why you’ll see the same names often here. They aren’t my favorites—I love publishing diverse work—they just care about the site. They are fans.

So, if you want to get published here, be a fan.

Image by Norman Rockwell.