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Sing, As Birds Will, Ellen Huang

They parried with sticks and ate apples in the wood.

A forbidden friendship formed without so much as blood

between stepbrother and sister.

I sing, as birds must, for the one who sent me.

A wicked stepmother set up dusty trunk and placed

her hand on the lid. A homemade guillotine

for twittering, meddling, unrelated little boys.

I sing as birds will, for the one who told me.

After the murder, the framed sister and weeps more

than her frail little body can hold. Sick to her stomach at the brother-soup

with her name on it. A mother's insurance she will never tell.

I sing, as birds do, for the one who came before me.

So hand me your gold chains, and your red

shoes, and your gifts set plain in a white-ribboned

box. Then hand me the millstone,

weight of the fallen earth where his head fell.

So that I may offer a gift, a shining

promise of an apple if she searches

in the dusty darkness. So that I may

serve some step-mother soup.

And after I am gone, thanks to your generous offers,

the one who sent me may come back.

previously published in Bleached Butterfly.


Ellen Huang (she/her) is published/forthcoming in Wretched Creations, Love Letters to Poe, Bowery Gothic, Ghost City, Grimoire, Bleached Butterfly, Sirens Call, Prismatica, Vamp Cat, and more. She is currently working on an asexual horror anthology and a fairy tale chapbook. For her fantasy-inspired creative work, follow:

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