[Fiction] Mr. Wolf

Little Red Riding Hood

When Georgia was a little girl, she wore a red peacoat with brass buttons that always got a few compliments whenever she and her mother would take the walk from their apartment to the local shops.

“Well, if it isn’t little Hood,” Tony would say and he’d slide an extra inch of salami into her sandwich.

“Well, if it isn’t little Hood,” Jacques would say and uncurl a handful of petit fours from his pudgy chef’s palm.

“Morning, Red.” Sandy would smile indulgently behind her Daily Post and sometimes Georgia found an extra few lemon drops from the candy shop in her bag.

It wasn’t until she was fully grown that Georgia took a stroll into the nearby woods with her familiar rose-dyed uniform.

“I’ve met so many friends,” Georgia said, treading carefully over the foliage. She raised her head and let autumn fall with a grace that stole her breath away. Let the people in her memories slip through her fingers. “I think I’m brave enough to greet you now, Mr. Wolf.”

Travelers

Touch of silver in moonlit space
Cobwebs, darkness, lines to trace
Ages that have worn you well
And lingered in places where they dwell

Smell of parchment worn and thin
Moisture, dryness, and moist again
Rends you till joints ache and refuse
The simplicity of a once youthful move

Yet, warmed by fire and cooled by ice
Fingers that have tempered nice
For touches both sure and gentle
Along thin shoulders just to settle

In camaraderie and love, born of the fear
We hadn’t expressed ourselves to those dear
For we all, travelers, will move on from here.

Pills

Shortly after my grandmother’s death
I looked upon her crowded shelf of pills
Thought about pouring a handful into my palms
Thought about pouring a handful into the aching empty places

I was left unmoored by the fragility of family
By the sudden rend of love’s security
And that was the first time such a concrete idea
Came into my head about a means to an end

I closed the cabinet door before I could make real
The possibility (impossibility) a mere reach
beyond my fingertips

I think of that self-preservation in tough times
I am thinking of it now

Valentine Heart

People say they give their hearts away
At the first date or kiss
During the nuptial vows
But I give my heart to you
Day by day
Moment by moment
Because love does not stop giving
It does stop growing or living
Just as we do —
I love you