Little Red Riding Hood/Companion
And those other females who managed to slip the collar
for a moment or two of life were branded “bad.”
–Clarrisa Pinkola Estés, from Women Who Run with the Wolves: Myths and Stories of the Wild Woman Archetype
The secret nests in my marrow.
At the striptease I appear pirouette
I might show you
what it means to be consumed.
The pashadom and papacy come
to gush and forever satellite spatter,
in the end you will find them
covered in a fine mist,
tasting of me.
What they do not know— beyond the veil
I lay with the wolf
& the wolf
Find me in a forest of tupelo,
cypress & black gum,
lobe, and blade.
Even a leaf can have teeth.
Human acts can be cannibalistic.
I am here
picking all of the wildflowers.
Copyright © 2018 by MK Chavez. Originally published in Poem-a-Day on December 19, 2018, by the Academy of American Poets.
About this Poem
“This poem is a reimagining of a fairy tale that held my imagination as a child. I was never satisfied with the end of the story. I was suspicious of trappings that painted a girl and a wolf as bad. This poem is also inspired by conversations with my best friend as we have explored what it is to be women and to be wild. I wanted to write a different type of fairytale, one that warns of the dangers of underestimating women, and where women and nature are triumphant and a celebration.”
MK Chavez is the author of Dear Animal, (Nomadic Press, 2017).
Date Published: 2018-12-19
Source URL: https://poets.org/poem/little-red-riding-hoodcompanion