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The Fairest of them All This work is considered exceptional by our editorial staff.

By Brianna, Arlington Heights, IL

I understand the prick of a needle,
and prune hands from hours of washing the floors,
and sacrificing myself for my father,
and giving away my voice to find true love.

I feel my blonde hair cascade around my face
as I am doomed to sleep forevermore,
stuck in an endless cycle of restlessness.

I feel the salt of my tears stream down my cheeks,
my ball gown becoming a tunic, my carriage a pumpkin,
the dance ending, me still without a prince.

I feel the fear course through my veins as I face
a beast, a man, a war, a life-changing challenge,
a never-ending test.

I feel my jaw open and attempt words to give my name,

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