Gingerbread House Lit Mag

Red Riding Hood

He stands in the front of the class of second graders
A substitute teacher
A fairy tale book
A picture of a girl in red and a wolf
He sees a hand raised all the way in the back

What was she doing in the woods by herself, Ella wants to know
She informs her teacher and the whole class, or at least those that are listening,
That her mom does not even let her stay in the car by herself
When she stops at the corner store for a carton of milk and a pack of cigarettes
Your mom should not smoke, whispers Peter
Shut up, just shut up, Ella yells back
Someone laughs out loud in the back
A pencil falls on the floor by the window
Mark sways his backpack like he is carrying the basket through the woods
Ella tears up
Someone offers her a tissue

Another hand is up in the air
Was is a grey wolf or a red wolf, Ethan wonders
Why would it matter no one else is sure
But Ethan is quick to pull his computer tablet out
National Geographic says only about 100 red wolves remain in the wild
So he is hoping it was not a red wolf
Besides, aren’t wolves supposed to hunt in packs?

The teacher absentmindedly thumbs the pages
Wolves are supposed to eat small mammals, birds and rodents
Red Riding Hood would most likely not be on the menu, Justin explains

Peeling his glasses off,
The teacher runs his right hand through his fading hair,
His grey pelt.
He tried and failed to comb away its thinning this morning

Maybe he will have to pick something less controversial for the next lesson
War and Peace

Dovile Mark


Dovile Mark was born in Lithuania and now spends time between Maryland and Hawaii. She enjoys working as a writer, filmmaker, actor, puppeteer and stunt performer. Her poetry and stories have been featured in several magazines including Poet’s Ink and Main Channel Voices.  She has performed live at many venues in Europe and US including theaters, literary festivals, jail facilities, hospitals and Stoop Storytelling Series at Center Stage in Baltimore.

Artwork: oRen

This entry was published on December 21, 2014 at 12:06 am and is filed under 10 (December 2014), Archive, Poetry. Bookmark the permalink. Follow any comments here with the RSS feed for this post.
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