Pins and Needles

by Chris Buchanan
Poetry, 2013
From the collection Growing Up Too Fast

Red Riding Hood stared
at the wolf man
at the crossroads
at the path of needles
and the path of pins.
The meaning was lost on her.

His yellow eyes were saturated
with wisdom.
The wolf knew
grandma would know
and the woodcutter could cut.
The girl had no idea.

The black paths had names
to do with sewing.
To solve the riddle,
to get through the woods,
you have to work out the best way,
the safe path.
Her feet were tingling.

Grey wolves are old sinners.
They know the stories
and know the needles
are easier in the long run.
The girl was big enough
to learn to sew the hard way.

Or else she was small enough
to be eaten up.

Whole.
Her choice.

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