In Praise of Disney Villains who Refuse to Retire – Angela Readman

In Praise of Disney Villains who Refuse to Retire

This is for the women who disguise their frowns with flames, the dusk of
your eyelids and opera of fingertips constructing churches and knocking
them down.

It’s for mothering that rook on your shoulder, a praise for crows’ feet and
your mirror of hecklers, the hours of boiling lost loves into lipstick and mist.

It’s for your pageant of age, strapping a crown over horns. This is for
peeling a lonely night off the window and wearing its cloak, ripping your

to kibble left out for wolves. It’s for your disgrace, putting on that black
dress, letting it flow like a dozen bridesmaids holding the night.

If age is just a number, this is for calling it in the small hours and breathing
do me into its ear. It’s for making each stumble a dance with lightning and
showing us a cane can conduct skies.

Here’s to you, for making purple a sports car and sharing the map that lets
us go roaring into the dawn.

Angela Readman’s poetry collection The Book of Tides is published by Nine Arches. Her chapbook Cooking with Marilyn, poems after Marilyn Monroe was published by Blueprint Poetry in 2020. She also writes fiction, her novel Something like Breathing came out in 2019.

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