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.