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Red Riding Hood's Real Life: A Novel in Verse

Red Riding Hood's Real Life'
Red Riding Hood's Real Life: A Novel in Verse

(poems, 2017, Night Rain Press)

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Poem From Red Riding Hood's Real Life

Red Riding Hood Confides In Grandma

My Grandma, feeling better, is at the stove
stirring her signature lamb ragout.

I want to tell her everything,
but my mouth feels full of glue.

“Grandma,” I finally say, “I feel like I’ll burst
if I don’t confess to you.”

“You can tell me anything, dear one.
You’ve nothing to fear.”

“I don’t want you to think less of me
but I’ve broken my wedding vows.

I’ve cheated on Hunter with the Wolf.”
Grandma transfers the ragout from stewpot

to brimming bowl, holds it out
to me to make me take it from her.

She looks me straight in the eyes
as calmly as if she hasn’t heard.

“Dearest, Red,” she says, “this is what I learned—
just be careful with what you’ve got.

It’s very full, it’s very hot,
and if you spill a drop, you’ll get burned.”

Lana Hechtman Ayers’ sharp, vivid poems in Red Riding Hood's Real Life allow a modern Red Riding Hood, an artistic wolf, and characters like Baba Yaga to spring to life. A meditation on the choices a woman makes in her life, in her relationships, and in her art, this book maps the journey through the trials, wonders, and frustrations of a love affair.
—Jeannine Hall Gailey, author of Field Guide to the End of the World.

Not since Edward Dorn’s Gunslinger have I found a poetic persona with this range, depth, insight and humor. Lana Hechtman Ayers’ Red Riding Hood's Real Life reminds me of Leonard Cohen’s songs: while they are often narrative, or conversational, they never lose their essential relationship with melody. These very human poems are built of angelic music, and ask serious questions of the world.
—James Bertolino, author of Ravenous Bliss

Celebrated poet Lana Hechtman Ayers reveals the true-life story of Red Riding Hood, recounting with tenderness—and a new erotic candor—both the anguish and hidden pleasures of straying from the well-worn path. Epic in scope but delivered with striking intimacy, the poems move us from the innocence of girlhood through the pulchritude of adolescence, the mendacities of marriage, and the transgression of infidelity. With whom will Red tango in the dark of the woods: the Huntsman or the Wolf? The answer is transcendent.
—Jeff Gomez, CEO Starlight Runner Entertainment