The Path of Needles

by Amanda Lord

There's a quicker way
than the path of pins,
of playing dress-up,
holding too warm hands,
being shy as moonflowers
facing their devastating sun.

We'd all been told before
about the other path
where the flowers smell
sweet as candy.
Where the wolves wait to take
your hand.
        "Be bold, be bold, but not too bold.

They didn't tell you
that the wolf may be found,
sipping tea with grandmother,
or that even the woodcutter
might look for a little "repayment." 
That the path can change
without you ever missing a step.

They will probably tell you,
that red was a provocative color,
surely there was a misunderstanding,
        It is not so, nor it was not so,
        and God forbid it should be so"
and besides the woods was no place
for a girl.

Between you and I, Red?
There was never a misunderstanding.
It is not so, nor it was not so.
Only a wolf
insisting he thread the needle,
so you'd know
what he thought you were worth.

Between you and I, Red?
I am tired of girls pulled
onto the path of needles.
Of letting others
slant our story.
I'll armor myself
in scarlet and fury,
and be bolder still
as long as they come
bearing lies in their teeth.  

Previous | Back to Table of Contents | Next