Rapunzel at Midlife


painting by  Brianne Kirbyson


Here’s a poem of mine from 2006; in my book Scattered Showers in a Clear Sky:

Rapunzel at Midlife



despite appearances, she liked the witch

– Anne Stevenson


She knew she was too old

to wear her hair long.

Those wiry grey strands belonged

in a hardware store,

not springing out from under a crown.


People never saw her cry.

She couldn’t cry.

Somewhere in her thirties,

the crying broke off in the keyhole

of the witches’ door.


She used her friends like tickets,

so subtly that most never felt themselves

handed to the usher,

crumpled on the floor.


The witch had evil eyes, but

they sparkled like black marbles.

She lived quietly enough

in a room above the drawbridge,

feeding the crows and sending them off

like carrier pigeons.






Published by ahiggins2013

poet, birder, senior citizen, cancer survivor, Catholic sister. Eight books of poetry published: At the Year’s Elbow, Mellen Poetry Press 2000; Scattered Showers in a Clear Sky, Plain View Press 2007; chapbooks: Pick It Up and Read, Finishing Line Press 2008, How the Hand Behaves, Finishing Line Press 2009, Digging for God, Wipf and Stock 2010, Vexed Questions, Aldrich Press 2013, Reconnaissance, Texture Press 2014, and Life List, Finishing Line Press, 2015.

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