When my father asked my stepsisters what they wanted from the fair, they fawned all over him with requests for jewels and fancy dresses.
His eyes almost slid past me. “And you, Cinderella, what will you have?”
Cinderella! Had he even forgotten my name? Did he truly think I was a no more than a servant? Did he not see the daughter of his own beloved dead wife standing before him?
“Father!” I cried, but when he still showed no signs of recognition, I shrugged and said, “Just break off for me the first branch that knocks against your hat on the way home.”
* * *
A noiseless patient spider,
I mark’d where on a little promontory it stood isolated,
Mark’d how to explore the vacant vast surrounding,
It launched forth filament, filament, filament, out of itself,
Ever unreeling them, ever tirelessly speeding them.
And you O my soul where you stand,
Surrounded, detached, in measureless oceans of space,
Ceaselessly musing, venturing, throwing, seeking the spheres to connect them,
Till the bridges you will need be form’d, till the ductile anchor hold,
Till the gossamer thread you fling catch somewhere, O my soul.”
Walt Whitman, “A Noiseless Patient Spider.”