Today's poem is by Jeannine Hall Gailey

When Red Becomes the Wolf

In my dream you brought me fried bologna sandwiches.
"But wait," you said, "You don't even like bologna."
I wolfed them down without answering.

I have never owned a red cape,
that's asking for trouble, I knew.
In the forest by your house,

I met someone gathering wood. "Nice axe,"
I said before wandering further.
I was obtaining samples for my botany class.

How many daisies make a statistic?
I thought of Persephone, her dark gash
that allowed Hades passage. Which flower?

I was hungry, and tired. I entered someone's
cottage, it was dark, and there was an old woman.
I volunteered to take her to get her hair done.

Alone, I mentioned I was born under the sign
of Lupus. "No," she corrected, "Lupae."
Later, eating sandwiches, we discussed you

and also whether I could wear her fur coat.
"It makes you look feral, with your green eyes,"
she said. Oh grandmother, what a big mouth you have.

Copyright © 2006 Jeannine Hall Gailey All rights reserved
from Becoming the Villainess
Steel Toe Books
Reprinted by Verse Daily® with permission

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