Snow White sits on the hood of your car
ripped jeans, knees like ivory
cigarette between candy-apple lips.
She’s waiting for the bell to ring.
A wilderness parking lot
the Truancy Officer sees her, moves on.
They have an understanding.
She buys her freedom with the same sweet promise
she’ll make to you.
Mr. Hunter likes candy-apples, too.
All the boys know Snow melts easy
give her a smile, a little dope, maybe
a taste of romance
a place to sleep–
Snow comes cheap.
Her Daddy ain’t around no more
her Step Mom don’t want none of her
seven foster homes since last December
or more; she don’t remember
what home means anymore.
But it don’t matter.
She’s set her sights on you.
Seventh period will be over
you’ll stride out of school
and take her where she wants to go
— anywhere but here.
She knows what they tell you
what other girls would do for you
poisoned looks, they give her
in the halls, on the stairs
but those other girls ain’t got nothin’
they can’t compare.
Hair black as midnight
skin white as headlights
hope as frail as glass
last night you promised her forever
and she believed you.
One more act of surrender
and this time will be different.
On the hood of your car in the high school lot
Snow White waits for you.
Shannon Connor Winward
Shannon Connor Winward’s work has appeared in Pedestal Magazine, Strange Horizons, Star*Line, and Inkscrawl, among others, and earned Honorable Mention for an emerging artist fellowship by the Delaware Division of the Arts in 2014. Her first collection of spec-lit poetry is due out from Finishing Line Press in Summer, 2014. She is a member of Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America, the Science Fiction Poetry Association, and a Rhysling Award nominee.
Artwork: Jonny Ruzzo, “Snow White: Gluttony”