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Periaktoi Writing Post

Volume 53
Issue 1

Single Visual Art Post

  • Poetry
The Locksmith’s Tale
Zinuo (Erica) Wu

The Locksmith’s Prologue

Rotund and brown-skinned, there is a locksmith,

Whose smile so honest, people trust him with

No hesitance. Bulged belt bag (attesting

His passion) he carries, inside nesting

Seventy metal bars, names and unique

Functions of which he knows by heart: oblique

Hooks do deadbolts but never lever locks.

With renowned skills and integrity, flocks

Of costumers he attracts, accolade

Of responsibility he is paid.

The Locksmith’s Tale

“In a remote piece of land where merry

Men sang of the beauty of a fairy,

The ancient king anxiously waited his

Only son to marry. Knowing duties

Of him were law and marriage, the young prince

Has been searching for his Venus long since:

White as cheese, red as blood. Miles of roads he

Walked day and night, night and day leagues of sea

He sailed, until a humped lady came to

Him in the Island of Ogresses, ‘Do

Trust me please, you will have what you desire,

Yet follow things I’m saying, I require:

Three locks bestowed on you, open only

Next to a fountain. Freed fairies pronely

Survive not if water is not given

At once.’ Rushing back home in eleven

Days, the delighted prince obeyed with care.

First two failed, however, and the third, fair

As cheese and blood, came to life. The prince went

To fetch his love clothing, when a slave, sent

By her master for water, saw beside

The fountain the beauty. With a defied

Burden — one who betrays duties will be

punished, I can promise — as a slave, she

Tricked and killed the adorable girl out

Of jealousy, and told the prince about

The magic of transforming—faked dreading.

He and the slave soon had their grand wedding.

One gift was a lock, and the prince, surprised,

Dealt it with the same steps, getting his prized

Fairy back. Truth was told, the slave was burned.

Lesson of obligations should be learned:

Things on earth, each and all (a small lock pick,

A slave), have special roles assigned to stick

With from birth, to be responsible for

Till death. That’s the key to the glory door.”