maybe she had rhubarb cake (still warm & with a pudding icing) in that basket

i caught him in the fog
on the highway entry, early urban morning,
overRunning Red traffic lights,
shaggy beard, Harley buzzing like a bear,
he, a wolf, with no cash,
so i took him to the station house
“i‘ve seen this face before–“,
missing puzzle pieces,

fairy tales are nothing but–
my assistant says, “i know him, see–“,
he holds a phantom drawing in the air,
signed: red riding hood

“come on”
in the yawning lamp light,
(“pancake yellow bulb spits on a greasy surface”,
my colleague’s denotation for interrogation room),
i tell him his rights,
he asks for no lawyer though,
squinting tired,

“it wasn’t her” he says, “it was the cake,
the stuff they sell in bakeries,
just crap–”
(i silently agree)

“so you said the hunter
let escape you? why?”
“haha– it was a deal– i had this decent
sporting gun collection, stored
in different caves over the years”,
(i don’t ask where he got them from,
i should’ve though, i know)

“playing the gentleman, ha–“ he rubs
his fur, weary, grey streaks in the black,
yellow teeth from the nicotine,
“see, we all make our mistakes”
“you don’t even have a drivers license”
“i got other problems”

outside in the street lamp’s warm glow,
drizzle, his colleague– black leather jacket,
silver rivets, crazy hair, a shade red,
paces up and down the road,
could be a fox, my expertise
to this effect is less than marginal,
(i collect roaches in my free time)

my last day before old age pension
(which explains things)
when we step out in the haze
of night, (too cool for may), i shiver,
opposite the school yard, cherry trees
wear wet, white wedding gowns

“what happened to the girl” i ask
“she’s working as a waitress”
“well– you still have contact?”
“no, i told you, it was just the cake”,
i shake his hand & on the way back home
buy rhubarb, flour & eggs, (i haven’t baked
in ages– actually)


smiles…fred has us writing myths, fairy tales and folklore, especially rgd. the myriad of creatures that appear within them… give it a go and see you at 3pm EST when we open the dVerse pub doors.. 


46 responses to “maybe she had rhubarb cake (still warm & with a pudding icing) in that basket

  1. I was beginning to think that your romantic poems were my favorites when you wow me with the cool fairy tale. I like the rhubarb cake on both ends of the poem, the title and the end…hmmmm…rhubarb cake….

  2. “Hey ho Taggy Lee, you remind me of me…”

    Actually this poem reminds me of ‘Red Riding Hood by Beatrice The Rat’ in my new book of poems. 🙂

  3. Connelly version of red riding hood . Lots of things to like here. The descriptions of the interrogation room, the nicotine stained teeth. Yes this was great fun (don’t read while drinking coffee though.)

  4. Delicious! I’ve been reading from Jasper Fforde’s Thursday Next series and this would fit right in there… 🙂 Yummy with a bit of a tang.

  5. A very energetic re-telling – quite sympathetic on all sides – that stuff they sell packaged IS terrible – vivid and fun characters -poor guys! And my mouth watering. k.

  6. haha a fantastical tale…fun characterization up front…my fav part is def the close though, in deciding to make a cake yourself and get a little wild…ha…

  7. going into the fantasy world, yet keeping it down the earth as well, and yeah blah to that goop they try to pass off and sell.

  8. … you don’t want to bake a cake for the big bad wolf … ever … steal one of his cubs instead … now, that’ll be fun…

  9. Creative weaving of a fairy tale into a night of interrogation ~ But the last verse takes the cake ~ Smiles ~

  10. You succeeded wonderfully in the poetic sphere I danced in, wanting to take some myth and modernize it, yet not lose its integrity. Love the marriage of myth & cuisine. A fun ride, great take on the Fred’s prompt.

  11. This is hilarious, Claudia… different than your usual voice, but I love it. (I really like yawning lamp light).

  12. What a great spin of the story. I think you’ve caught the essence of a children’s book. If you find an illustrator, I do believe this will go down as a classic. Very enjoyable to read, and I love the way your mind works.

  13. As I’ve said, mythical creatures are a favourite of mine because of the metaphorical flexibility, especially when coupled with a modern socio-cultural setting. You’ve exploited this perfectly here, in this updated innocent-and-wolf tale. Atmospheric, and very, very clever.

  14. “I liked the poem and I liked the cake,” said Little Red Riding Hood to the bobby.

    “Just the facts, ma’am,” Sergeant Pepper replied.

  15. …you owned the character of mr. wolfy here Claudia… what fun & great way of re-telling this… and after several reads of these versions from the past themes i am starting to re-consider whether mr. wolfy should actually be the villain there… aww… excellent.Claudia… enjoyed it… smiles…

  16. Film noire immersive sort of feeling here. Very entertaining, and then a line like this just pauses, quiets the room, demanding to be heard: “opposite the school yard, cherry trees
    wear wet, white wedding gowns” Superb.

  17. I loved your version of the little red riding hood! 🙂 I could see that turned into a short book with illustrations. Now, there’s food for thought.

    Greetings from London.

  18. It’s interesting that we both used the same tale and wrote them under a contemporary background. I think these folktales are open to new interpretations – I like your characters 🙂

  19. Fantasy mixed with reality recalling the children’s fairy tale story the little Red Riding Hood & the Big Bad wolf..Claudia how well u have written it Amazing..Smiles:))GOD<3u

  20. I see this as much moree than a fairytale of how creatures from folklore come to stay with us, in us and perhaps, the tales were spun to showcase life as lived such! A wonderful piece, took me to go little up and down to read and understand! 🙂

  21. Claudia, you are expert, time and again tearing off a blank sheet, and brushing it with all kind of awesome colorful word-paint, depending on the prompt.

    I could not stop “seeing” the men using axes to free grandma by chopping her out of the wolf-body.

    Thanks for another really good write!

  22. I agree with Wyeth, I was picturing a film noir atmosphere as I read this. Which fits very well, considering the subject matter! Great take on a classic – I especially enjoyed the introduction of the ‘fox’ into the mix – nice way to shake things up. 🙂