National Poetry Month Day 6: Elizabeth Acevedo






& on the highway, the woman almost drives into a railing. An accident. Perhaps. Lost in
thought. What thought almost causes this kind of damage? The usual one. About the
other woman. Is a bed not its own sort of a mind? & don’t they both sag with weight
when an extra person slides into them? Don’t they collapse

                                                                                                                    onto a hard
new truth?

                  The woman           still driving thinks of fairytales. Especially this one. The
one of the young blond who wanders into a house. So fucking entitled. Who sticks her
fingers in the porridges, & tongues the spoons. Deems another’s daily bread too hot,
too cold. Too hers.

                             Who settles into all the chairs & breaks their legs. This destruction is
easy. (No one ever thinks of the carpenter.) She lays on the bed. Falls asleep— her
outside clothes all over the sheets. Ain’t got no home training, this golden haired woman.
They never do.

                                       & this is the moment the woman, the first woman, our driver is
confused by— when Mama bear comes home. She’s never read the original story. Maybe
it’s not the same. But in the childhood one, this bear, big & grizzled & not at all gilded,
on hind legs in her own house, finds the blond in the bed. & instead of claws, & teeth,
& blood & gnaw, instead of knuckles, instead of a feral shriek

                                                                                                                the      woman
                                                                             offered the blond a ride home. It was
                                                                             a late night & really, the city isn’t safe
                                                                             at that hour. She knows now that
                                                                             exact moment of rupture: when she
                                                                             beckoned the sunshine woman into
                                                                             her car & said, “I promise, it’s no
                                                                             trouble at all.”

Elizabeth Acevedo is a New York Times best-selling author. She is the winner of the 2018 National Book Award for Young People’s Literature, The Printz Award for Excellence in Young Adult Fiction, the Boston Globe-Hornbook Award Prize for Best Children’s Fiction, and the Pura Belpré Award for a work that best affirms the Latinx cultural experience. Her books include Beastgirl & Other Origin Myths (YesYes 2016), The Poet X (HarperCollins, 2018), and With The Fire On High (HarperCollins, 2019). She holds a BA in Performing Arts from The George Washington University and an MFA in Creative Writing from the University of Maryland. Acevedo has been a fellow of Cave Canem, Cantomundo, and a participant in the Callaloo Writer’s Workshops. She is a National Poetry Slam Champion, and resides in Washington, DC with her love. More from this author →