birds in a barrel's mission is to release creative nonfiction into the wild.

40 Days & 40 Writes is its first project.

Red Riding Hood, Later

Red Riding Hood, Later

I pretend there is no wolf out in woods
who will steal my hood and use it to pretend he's me. 

I pretend he won't devour someone I love.
I pretend he's never threatened to eat me.

I pretend the car with the children's toys in the back
is one that's safe for a hitchhiker to climb in. 

I pretend my beauty or will will keep me safe. 
I pretend that I am living outside time. 

I pretend that a mauling won't leave scars. 
I pretend that my pretending doesn't show. 

I pretend I can still strip and bare my core. 
I pretend that under this, there is a core. 

I pretend I never talked to the sheep-skinned wolf. 
I pretend I never climbed into the car. 

I pretend I was there for a last goodbye. 
I pretend there will never be a final time. 

I pretend a hunter will slit the belly of the wolf.
I pretend my unscathed grandma will walk out. 

I pretend there wasn't any need to grieve. 
I pretend I know the ending of the tale.

I dream of wolves with razor wire teeth. 
I pretend that no part of us really dies. 

I pretend that sleep will dream me out of the cage. 
I pretend I've already forgotten what it means.