The Happy Ending: A Poem By Shelly Reuben

By: Shelly Reuben

A pixie, a fairy, a sprite and an elf

Assembled with tremulous fear

A crises arisen now had to be faced –

For if not, they would all disappear!

A scholarly body of ivy-clad dons

Had consulted, conversed, and concurred

That stories which ended in joy or with hope

Were all patently, wholly … absurd.

These bold academics then took out an ad

In The Times; they were proud of their stance,

That “good never triumphs; despair conquers all,

And it’s folly to trust in romance.”

The credo they’d signed (to a woman and man)

Read in part: “It is time to expel

Every story and poem … every saga and book

Which suggests that a thing can end well.

“We decry every hero who walks off a page

After winning a fight at high noon.

We affirm this is nonsense; the hero is dead

And his wife dies right after her swoon.

“Lovers all cheat; and crops always fail;

Employees steal cash from the till;

But the biggest illusion adhered to by fools

Is the one about having free will.”

That policy, credo … whatever it’s called

Continued another half-page,

Indignant and angry, contemptuous, too,

Intellectualizing their rage.

The pixie, the fairy, the sprite and the elf

Knew as clear as the nose on their face

That if happiness, love, and all hope were expelled

It would signal the end of their race.

Fairies grant wishes; they make dreams come true;

While a sprite lives to radiate joy;

A pixie spreads pixie dust, bringing on smiles,

And an elf makes (think Santa) our toys.

Their very existence reproaches the code

Of the cynical bullying scholars

(Who hide in the dark of their ivy-clad halls

Safely tenured and raking in dollars).

Now … here’s an aside, and I swear this is true:

There descended, like rain from above,

On fairy, on sprite, and on pixie and elf,

A bourgeoning flourish of … love!

The pixie was pretty; her first name was “Spring”

To honor the season of flowers.

The elf was named Abe, for no reason at all,

But it suited his elfin-ish powers.

As the four of them sat round a huge mushroom stool,

And dreaded what surely must come … if

Heroes were banished, romance was expelled,

And of hope, love, and joy there were none.

Their eyes met and clung, and each felt a pang –

(I am speaking of Abe and of Spring) –

Then what do you know? First their fingertips touched,

Next their hearts started, wildly, to sing!

The fairy and sprite, who deserve great respect

But are often not given their due,

Understood in that instant what just had occurred,

Although Spring and Abe had no clue.

By falling in love (there’s no question they did) –

And this truth would be proven erelong –

The cynics, defeatists, and scholarly fools,

Were incontrovertibly wrong.

For love requires truthfulness, valor and trust

The values of heroes in stories,

Which means then that novels and poems and such

Could return to their heretofore glories.

As long as a pixie, elf, fairy or sprite,

(Or even a human) aspires

To give of his best and become his best self

We can squelch all those erudite fires.

Let the bold academics spout gloom and despair

To (un-listening, we hope) hoi polloi,

While the rest of us – trusting to pixies and elves,

Cease to worry, and simply … enjoy!




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