After I reach the end of a fairy tale

Margaret Kingsbury

After I reach the end of a fairy tale

 For a moment, I could not remember some magic
     I’d left behind.
Poor fool, I thought, to have let such a thing
     slip from memory,
     like the name of some long-forgotten acquaintance.
But then I felt the book
     heavy in my lap—
     the caress of beveled edges against fingertips—
     and remembered.

______________

Margaret Kingsbury is a freelance writer and editor and her essays have appeared on BuzzFeed Books, Book Riot, Star Trek, Think Inclusive, and more. Her short stories and poems have been published by Devilfish Review, Nonbinary Review, Pulp Literature, and Expanded Horizons. Follow her on Instagram @babylibrarians, on Twitter @readerlymom, or check out her kid lit website Baby Librarians.

Backstory: My favorite books on my bookshelf are fairytale collections, which I’ve slowly been accumulating for years. Most come from a used bookstore I worked at for twelve years. In this poem, I was trying to capture that feeling I sometimes have while reading fairy tales, a nagging familiarity but also an innate knowledge–I know but I don’t know. I remember through the feel of the book, through the feel of the fairy tale itself. Fairy tales aren’t the only genre that gives me this feeling of remembering while not remembering, though they’re the most consistent in doing so.

Image credit: Fairytale book (desktopnexus), lady’s hands (freeiconspng), prismatic abstract (wallsdesk)

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