My father has bragged to the king that I can spin straw into gold. Now the king has locked me in a room and I must show that I can do it. How can I do it? It’s an impossible task!

I’m furious! I’m frightened! I’m disheartened. I’m dismayed.

Yet I must stay open. Some unimagined magic is my only hope….

The Spinning Daughter in Rumpelstiltskin, Grimms. Illustration by A.H. Watson.



* * *


Inside Jobs

Here is my work, in the room without doors
Here is my wheel, with the gold on the floor
Here is the reason for spinning, for birth
Here is the seed I have thrown on the earth
Here is the ALL I have ever asked to be
The ALL that now I’m desperate to flee
Not because it’s greener outside the door
But because there’s so much straw here,
gleaming on the floor

Straw is all it is till the spinner makes the
The gold’s in what is given, the gift’s in what
we leave
We cannot know the name of things
when we set upon the wheel
The gold is made of what we love,
and what we love made real

So stay here, in the room without doors
Give it all up and accept what is yours
Hold nothing back and lament no more
What else was all that seeking for?
But to bring you here and sit you down
In the room of impossible dreams

Come back!
The King has asked
for a spinner


Michelle Tocher