DWARF OF MIDNIGHT

1
What burns in these shadows, in these flames,
these flames more crooked than my shadow?
My shadow burns, the words I whisper
crack in the heat. The moonlight is drenched
by the flames. Tomorrow he is mine.
.
She, the gentle, foolish one,
prisoner of her father’s greed, sweated
in the airless light of the torches,
wheel spinning empty through her hand
to scatter the straw on the floor.
.
2
They curse me in the streets, drive me
into shadows. But I have watched
between the stones, seen the stains
beneath the silk, beneath the rags,
sweat rolling into their mouths.
.
I am better than them all, for I
who never knew the touch of gentle hands
or kind words sung to comfort me,
will hold my son in gentle arms,
soften my voice to song.
.
3
There in the distant forest, alone
but for light we build against the darkness,
all he will know is that my shape
is beautiful, and I a giant
among the creatures of the Earth.
.
He will be, like the sound of my name,
a secret to these sheltering flames,
a secret from the world and from
the secrets of the world. I who know the darkness
know this light.
.
4
The fire burns the past, the mockery.
In the flames I throw the secret of my name.
Born at sunrise with my son, my name,
RUMPELSTILTSKIN, burns
in the flaming moonlight, burns in the shadows.
.
She saw, she heard. She hurries
through the forest to the town.

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