Lucy Zhang


Where to grow this carriage of a pumpkin (a Rouge Vif D'Etampe not a kabocha this is not for eating! says the fairy godmother to herself [dementia manifests like vines coaxed down brick paths])? Behind briars and beanstalks and golden straw bale? Spray them with hydrogen peroxide Grow them with nasturtiums Snatch a stamen from a flower and brush it over another's stigma (who trusts natural pollination to do its course? certainly not she) It is a labor of love! The cinder girl rides away to her fated ball in a hollowed squash and the fairy godmother tends to the remnants of her effort (fibrous strings tossed and seeds roasted) because years of granting wishes have made her sensitive to waste festering behind dreams rooted in sterling silver tiaras that tarnish as soon as you forget them on the bathroom sink but {Everyone goes through this phase Everyone dreams for the snappiness of wands Everyone wishes to see a barouche better yet a Porsche in place of a pumpkin Everyone sprints in glass slippers though they forget to leave breadcrumbs so they can find their way back Everyone trips their way down the stairs when midnight strikes Everyone wonders where were they going from here?} she sprinkles sea salt over the seeds and crushes them between her molars as she waits a few more decades when they will come back to ask her what she regrets in life so they do not make the same mistakes Tell me! they demand in their duchesse satin stylized with floral motifs someone must have spent a lifetime appliquéing and the fairy godmother pours a cup of chrysanthemum tea as they sit by the garden (lately she has started growing sugar pumpkins and butternut squash and kabocha which eat into her Rouge Vif D'Etampe patch so now there is only enough space for one carriage per year) and plucks a ripe squash the weight of a newborn and perfect for pie would you like to take one back?





I wrote this piece because I wanted to use a punctuation bank, I love kabocha squash, and I had recently read an article about not enough stories being told from an older woman's perspective.