Schloss Steinau, Hesse, Germany

Ruth Daniell

The Grimm brothers grew up across the streetin a half-timbered magistrate's house:studying Greek and Latin, collecting eggs,and not thinking of magic. By all accountsit was the best time of their lives. It is quiet here, calm,unburdened by tourists and noise exceptthe gentle twittering of small, silver-winged birds.Watching you squint in this particular light,it occurs to me that most magicin fairy tales is the kind that hurts, that trapsand twists and isolates—the happily ever afteris the return to the disenchanted life,the confidence that love is enough. This must bethe solace those brothers sought to return to:the nostalgia of afternoon sunlight on the castlethat stood in the neighborhood of their childhood. Strawberries from the market stain our hands. I can feel this picnic turn into memoryeven as I busy myself with worry about my white sundress. The light is carefree, like a princejust transformed from his animal skin ora princess newly awakened—giddywith the reward of ordinariness. Through no fairy intercession that I know of,you are young and beautiful, and I am too,and strawberry juice runs in rivulets down our wrists. 

Feature Date


Selected By

Share This Poem

Print This Poem

Ruth Daniell is an award-winning writer whose work has appeared in journals across Canada and elsewhere, including Arc, Grain, CV2, and previously in Room magazine. Her first full-length collection of poetry, The Brightest Thing, is forthcoming from Caitlin Press in early 2019. She lives with her family in Kelowna, B.C. 



Room is Canada’s oldest feminist literary journal, and has published fiction, poetry, creative nonfiction, art, interviews, and book reviews for forty years. Published quarterly by the West Coast Feminist Literary Magazine Society, also known as the Growing Room Collective, Room showcases writing and art by women (cisgender and transgender), transgender men, Two-Spirit and nonbinary people. We believe in publishing emerging writers alongside established authors, and because of this, approximately 90% of the work we publish comes from unsolicited submissions or contest entries.

Works that originally appeared in Room have been anthologized in The Journey Prize Anthology, Best Canadian Poetry, Best Canadian Stories, and Best Canadian Essays, and have been nominated for National Magazine Awards.

Poetry Daily Depends on You

With your support, we make reading the best contemporary poetry a treasured daily experience. Consider a contribution today.