Real Life Princesses

This week I’ve been grumpy. I even called a friend and said, “I’m really really grumpy.” What can you do when you feel so grumpy? Art helps, because it pulls you out of negativity. I start thinking about poetry also. Mostly, I just want to get to a happier place.

So I did some goofing around with painting this week. In my push to get ahead on work at the end of the year, I neglected doing art, and maybe that’s why I was grumpy.

Both of these paintings are related to a poem I wrote years ago called “Real Life Princess” from my book The Difference Now and also in my “greatest hits” book New and Selected Poems. The background on the poem is also based in grumpiness. I was running around one day years ago, exhausted, taking care of my grandparents, working long hours, and when I came home at the end of the night I didn’t have anyone there to spend it with. The poem was as much about having a life filled with busyness and not love as it was finding that special someone to love.

I wrote:

“Just for one day
let me lay my head down
next to a real life prince

not perfect
not wealthy
not completing me
not making me whole

but there
beside me
with me

sharing this life of

taking a burden from my arms
like a bag of groceries
not to keep forever
but to take off my hands
just long enough
to let me rest my sore muscles
so I can pick them back up
and push on.

For just one day
let me wake up in the life of a real life princess.”

I wrote this a couple years before marrying my husband, and like most of my poems, I wrote it and forgot about it. Then, at my wedding, my maid of honor surprised me by getting up at the mic to read the poem:

lori speech

Everyone in the place just lost it. We were all bawling. DH and I looked to each other as she started to read and just sobbed as the reality of those words hit us. The words of the entire poem seemed to call out for my husband, the very person he turned out to be, years before we even met.

So I was thinking about that moment, one of the happiest of my life, this week as I tried to un-grumpify myself. I painted two pictures that, in my mind, related to this poem, and all of it left me in a better mood. Yay for art!

I call the first piece “Pink Princess.” You’ll notice I even tore up an old book of mine to use in the background.


The second one is called “Real Life Princess,” after the poem.


Both “Pink Princess” and “Real Life Princess” are available in my Etsy store.


  1. says

    Tears of joy and wonder as I read this. I don’t think I’ll be grumpy today. You’ve helped me think about the little miracles that have happened in my own life.

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