He had always wondered
about Little Red Riding Hood’s mother.
What kind of parent dresses a child
in a cloak reminiscent of a matador’s
invitation to danger,
yet alone hands her a picnic basket
stuffed with smells
that will draw every beast in the forest?
Little Red is a magnet for tragedy.
And what kind of mother
sends a naive child,
who easily confuses a costumed wolf
with her grandmother,
alone into the woods
to walk the gauntlet of death?
And the savior woodsman,
who hacks the wolf with his axe?
Does it not seem odd
that he is so close at hand?
He turns the page
as his daughter demands another story.
This one is Goldilocks.
He will never get to sleep.