Amber McCready: Little Red Riding Hood

Little Red Riding Hood

I spend most of my time
trying to convince myself
the wolf is not in the room.

Amber McCready


Review by Rénee K. Nicholson
With only three compact lines, it might be easy to dismiss Amber McCready’s “Little Red Riding Hood.” I admire concision, as it’s a trait I rarely possess. These little spare poems require quite a bit of attention, and as I sat with this piece, I realized that the poem evoked the same gauzy feeling of anxiety I feel all around me. I wondered which wolf I was convincing myself was not in the room. Little Red Riding Hood feels the most cautionary of the fairy tales I remember, the wolf a character teeming with warning. The wolves around me seem to be both personal and beyond, a holdover from a contentious election, the day-after-day revelations of sexual harassment, the fear of health and meager wealth being pried away. I feel this wolf in the presence of others, in a strange collective grief-turned-anxiety, a sense not spoken so much as felt: what will happen to us. It’s like PTSD. It’s like the danger never left.

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