Kristin Berkey-Abbott



She watches her teenage daughter pitch

a fit, complete with hysterical

sobbing, door slamming, and screaming.

Some part of her turns to stone

as her daughter hurls nasty

accusations about lack of love and ugliness.


She thinks of the ancient fairy tales

with their adolescent girls left to slumber

for a hundred years.  She wonders

where she could find a witch

to cast this spell.


She would settle for a tower,

her daughter locked up safe,

maybe with a spinning wheel or loom

to keep her fingers busy.


She thinks of boarding schools and pharmaceuticals,

the modern answer to the ancient spell.

She thinks of how quickly a blessing turns

into a curse.  She pours the last

of her bottle of wine and waits.


Kristin Berkey-Abbott's chapbook, Whistling Past the Graveyard, was published by Pudding House Press in 204.  Her poems have appeared in a variety of journals.  She teaches English and Creative Writing at the Art Institute of Ft. Lauderdale, where she also serves as Chair of the Department of General Education.  Her website is at



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