Jimmy Pappas

Jimmy Pappas served during the Vietnam War as an English language instructor training South Vietnamese soldiers. Jimmy received his BA in English at Bridgewater State University and an MA in English literature from Rivier University. He is a retired teacher whose poems have been published in many journals, including Yellowchair Review, Night Garden Journal, Off the Coast, and Black Poppy Review. He is a member of the Executive Board of the Poetry Society of NH. He was one of ten finalists in the 2017 Rattle Poetry Contest, and he was the winner of the Readers Choice Award for that poem.


Cinderella in the Backcountry

I went from glass slippers to leather moccasins,

from mattresses and gowns to grass beds

and coats made from animal pelts.

 

Once I was ashamed of the cinders

that covered my skin;

now I rub ashes on my face

to stalk wild boar in darkness.

 

The ancient crone sent me to hide

where the roosting doves distracted

the soldiers searching for me.

 

These men with their long pikes

never knew the way of the wilderness.

Their weapons were trinkets meant

to show the power of the king.

 

Soon they searched from village

to village unaware of my ability

to survive here on my own.

 

When my midnight curfew arrives,

I will hiss like a bobcat at the castle

where my stepsisters empty

chamberpots in the moonlight.