Red Daughter

by Alena Sullivan

I have been lost as snow is lost
On the first warm morning of May,
And I have been lost as all women are lost
When they abandon the road for the shadowy way
That calls to the blood like a cat to the moon
And twists among the flowers and the tangle-topped trees
And sings a murmuring song in the blood, in the blood,
That hums like a heart full of bees.
I have been a red-hooded cardinal,
On fire with birdsong and fear,
And I have been a red-hooded girl
In the woods, with the wolf drawing near.
I crawled like a child through October afternoons,
Draped in the skin of the great brown bear
(Who once ate the moon from a bowl of milk)
Cold earth beneath my fingernails, red leaves in my hair.
Red-glowing fruit crackling under my teeth,
I signed a lease on a winter home under the ground,
Hand in hand with the evening’s breath
And the clamoring souls who called me down.
When spring rises, raw and dripping gold and green
Across gray streets and grayer clouds,
I, too, will rise, and greet my mother
And tell her I am fearless now.

Alena Sullivan is a real life magical girl who lives in a cozy 1940's apartment on a sleepy street in Decatur, Georgia, with two birds, two cats, and a vast collection of teapots. In her everyday life, she works as a nanny, paints surrealist watercolor pictures, and writes both poetry and short fiction. She believes in fairy tales, and in the idea that the more something you want scares you, the more it's worth. Her favorite fruits are pomegranates, and she likes to imagine as she eats them that she's eating jewels made out of blood, which is possibly gross or perhaps just indicative of an upbringing that involved reading a lot of mythology texts.

Alena has a B.A. in Anthropology, and uses her background in the study of cultural and personal narrative to write speculative fiction. She attended the Alpha Science Fiction/Fantasy/Horror Workshop for Young Writers in 2006 and 2008, where she got to learn about writing from her biggest heroes. She has had two stories published by Luna Station Quarterly, as well as three poems in The Wormwood Press. Her visual art can be found at the Painted Pig Tavern in Canton, Georgia, or online at her RedBubble shop.

Previous | Back to Table of Contents | Next