Speak to me, princess, whisper in my ear,
stories my troubled young heart wants to hear.
Tell me of fairies, of lightness and cheer.
Tell me of goodness, of things you hold dear.
She whispered to me, sweet princess of mine.
She soothed my young heart with stories divine.
Stories of fairies, of goodness and light,
stories that wooed me safe into the night.
But as I grew up and dreamed these sweet dreams,
my mind made me hear the night’s muffled screams.
I called to my princess but she wouldn’t come.
A figure appeared where once she came from.
The tales she told you, the figure told me,
were but half a tale – there’s more you should see.
I trembled in fear but I took her hand.
She led me down paths that left my dreamland.
I saw that the light kept darkness at bay,
but the darkness remained – as night pairs with day.
What are you, I asked – she answered me soft.
I’m the monster your tales tried to kill off.
Your princess told you of goodness and light.
She left me and mine to languish in night.
Her light threw shadow over our dark world.
Her light meant to soothe a scared little girl.
She didn’t tell you of monsters or beasts.
But we live in your woods desiring release.
Let me tell you tales to woo you to sleep.
There’s more to the woods – let me take you deep.
Speak to me monster, whisper in my ear,
stories my brilliant young heart wants to hear.
I grew up being taught that I was part of a great nation, one that had to be a “light unto the nations” – through Jewish goodness and light, we would banish the darkness where horrors of morality lived. I immersed myself in stories about goodness and light. But when I got to know the moral horrors in the darkness, I discovered that they had a voice and that they saw things differently – and I wanted to hear their stories.