What Goldilocks Learned by Colleen Anderson

What Goldilocks Learned

Beautiful and dyed blond
I moved out to explore the forest
a lumberjack beckoned
Once inside his cottage I didn’t notice
all was dished out
and everything in its place

That first man was a boor
he sawed and hammered and nailed
Did I have to spread my legs
try to mend the cleaving
when he said I hadn’t pleased him in bed?

              Too hard, too self-centered.                            I had to leave.

The second one was a bore
pasty as porridge
he lectured as internet chat filled his head
Me, only a hairdresser, no experience, no degree
where would I end up?

              Too soft, too condescending.                            I had to leave.

By the third I thought I had chosen just right
Not too hard or too soft
Not too noncommittal or too passionate
cleaning up after kids, feeding everyone
Knowing the place of everything
even me, was more than I could bear

              Shorn of golden sun reflecting
              essentially bare
              I left the taste of what had been
              No longer seeking flavors
              or trying to fit what looks just right
              I have chosen freedom to be as I please

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Colleen Anderson has a BFA in writing and her poems have been published in such venues as Mirror Dance, Polu Texni, The Future Fire, HWA Poetry Showcase. She is a Canada Council and BC Arts Council grant recipient for writing and has performed her work before audiences in the US, UK and Canada. Nominated for the Rhysling, Dwarf Stars, and Aurora Awards for poetry, Colleen’s collection, I Dreamed a World, will be published in early 2021. Colleen has served on numerous HWA and British Fantasy Society juries, and was the 2020 Elgin Awards chair for speculative poetry collections.

Image credit: A collage of blond bust (iconfinder.com) with the silhouettes of a muscular man (onlygfx.com), a casual man (onlygfx.com), and a businessman (barnasystem.com)