Joan Butler: Ballade of the Ugly Sister


You danced with me that evening at the ball.
I think you fancied me. I ached for you.
You whirled me round the great palatial hall
and dropped me flat when she hove into view.
Where did she get that dress? Those jewels, too?
Asda, I’ll bet. The brazen little chit
knew what she wanted, thought the whole thing through.
(Your golden rule, The slipper has to fit,

as euphemisms go it beats them all.)
When women scheme, men haven’t got a clue.
She stayed just long enough for you to fall,
and fall you did, completely and on cue.
Then, having made you promise ‘to be true’,
she party-pooped and left you holding it
for everyone to see. The minx, she knew
your golden rule: The slipper has to fit.

It wasn’t long before you came to call,
but not for me. I had to join the queue,
a hapless hopeful. It was far too small,
and one might say I failed that interview.
Of course, the one who won was You-know-who,
that pretty, pouting, artful little twit
who cunningly inflamed you to pursue
your golden rule: The slipper has to fit.

Envoi

Prince, did you really have to say, ‘I do’,
or are you quite bereft of native wit?
Spare me a thought when you begin to rue
your golden rule: The slipper has to fit.