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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