It should have ended there,
the coach turning soft and orange,
her gown dissolving into a frothy cloud
around her shoulders,
the twelfth stroke of the clock in the tower
falling like a meteorite,
and the glass slipper slipping into the pond,
raising a bubble like a frog breathing.
Perhaps it is starting to rain.

It should have ended there,
the pumpkin at the gate,
and the neighbors’ only son staring in amazement,
riding out at dawn to work.

From The Black Birch (Kelsay Books, 2017). Copyright © 2017 by J. R. Solonche. Used with the permission of the author.