Little Red

I never mistook my grandmother for a wolf.

I didn’t think her quivering snout a nose or those

black-tipped claws her fingers. Nor did I imagine her

wanting a peek at my blood-colored cloak or to sniff

my basket full of cakes. My grandmother was a killer,

same as yours. I knew she’d been ambushed when I saw

the scratch on the door. I was in it for vengeance. Sometimes,

you want the wolf to speak to you. Sometimes, and remember

this when you go hunting, you want to draw your opponent’s voice

to the edge of his vicious tongue, coerce him to reveal the rage

that drives his un-innocent hunger. After all, he could have slaughtered

a boar or a brown hare. Grandmothers are deadly, not delicious.

Remember too, you little girls with daggers in your dresses,

they’ll never get your story right. They’ll ink up your successes

to a thoughtful woodsman or forgetful beast. Wolves are not un-careful,

little assassins, waiting is their finest work. You’ll be painted a kitten

in a red coat, told and retold until you’re remembered helpless.

Use it to your advantage.

Content yourself with being the one who lives.