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Poems | Poems | Cinder/Ella


I have cried
Cinderella's tears,
the salt taste
fresh in my mouth,
cinders and dust—
mother, daughter,
sister, step-mother,
where is love?

I was born.
That seems to be
enough to begin
the thread of mother/
we call it a complex:
suffice to say
to be born female
knits up an old story,
ravels into balled
wool or tangled web,
what I now call

   the mother-knot
            the mother-not.

Not that she
was a wicked step-mother,
my own mother-not;
even Penelope would find
it impossible
to untie these threads
and reweave the bonds
of womb and blood
between women.

Perhaps we should
blame Darwin—
the toughest ones
and I was weak,
a born dreamer.

It took me fifty years
to understand
the power women wield,
not always for the good.
O nurturing gender.
O destroying goddess.
Cinderella grew up,
dried her tears,
found her prince
and danced the night away
in glass slippers.
Don't we all thrill
to a happy ending?
Everyone, of course,
except the jealous
and still the knot
continues to ravel/
unravel/ knit up/
unwind/ bind us
and call us home
prince and slippers,
carriage and pumpkin coach,
wicked witch,
cruel step-mother,
fairy godmother,
mothers lost/ and mothers
found/ finally
to mother earth,
beginning at our end.


Copyright by Carolyn Zonailo:, 2004 | Poems | Cinder/Ella
Wave Goddess
The Wave Goddess
Born in Vancouver, British Columbia, Zonailo attended ...
CZ is a visionary poet who writes with compassion and careful detail about the world she lives in.
GoddessThe Goddess in the Garden combines mystical insight and sensual language to evoke a timeless meadow where humans and deities play out eternal passions.
She draws on her study of mythology, astrology, and Jungian psychology, for a seemingly inexhaustible source of imagery.
There is a quality in her work which makes all her poems hers, but Zonailo’s style does differ. Compendium is a collection of short, lyrical poetry; Zone 5 of prose. Each book is an extension of her poetic exploration and a separate expression.
Over the years of sitting in Grant's Cafe or the Europa and talking poetry with Lewis Gretsinger, the questions have been asked: why write? what are you saying? what are your poetics?
Last Will and Testament
I give my soul to God.
I give my body to the earth.
I give my poems to posterity.
I give my spirit to tolerance.
I give my mind to the future.
Forthcoming Titles
The Land of Motionless ChildhoodThe Land of Motionless Childhood is a memoir of short stories by Carolyn Zonailo about growing up in Vancouver, and her Doukhobor heritage.
Photo Gallery
CZPictures of CZ from her 20s, 30s, 40s and 50s.
Literary Papers
Spanning the years 1955 to 2005, the Carolyn Zonailo Papers holds, as nearly as possible, a currently complete collection of Zonailo's extant literary papers.
CZ Go to the Top of the Page.
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