New and Selected Poems
by David Trinidad
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In his first book, Pavane (1981), David Trinidad included a poem titled “The Peasant Girl,” derived from Charles Perrault’s fairy tale “Diamonds and Toads.” The poet presents an unwanted girl who stoically keeps house for her stepmother until the day she is visited by a hideous crone who begs for a drink of well water; the girl complies, and, for a reward, the crone says, “Whenever you speak, / beautiful flowers and priceless gems shall flow / into the world with your words.” The girl rushes home, anxious to tell
about the fairy and how I had passed her silly test, and as I spoke, a dozen rubies splattered on the wooden floor like drops of blood.
said my stepmother. I did, and orchids tumbled
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