Guest Poem by Hannah Linden

Hannah Linden is widely published and her recent awards include 1st prize Cafe Writers Poetry Competition 2021 and Highly Commended in the Wales Poetry Award 2021. She is working towards her first full collection. Her debut pamphlet The Beautiful Open Sky, published by V. Press, will be released in September 2022. Twitter: @hannahl1n

The Woodcutter’s House

from Wolf Daughter

Now the wolf is dead, dissected into pieces
and the knife has been cleaned and put back
into the drawer. No more dwelling on it
he said. Take some pills and put a smile
on your face, no need for red capes now.
What was your Grandmother thinking? She’s
been moved out of the rickety cottage. Even if
the door hinges hadn’t been loose, the next wolf
would have got in down the chimney.
And no need for the baskets of little girls
in sheltered accommodation. It’s no longer
a hop, skip and a jump through the forest.
Now it’s a walk along scary roads
to the bus station and three buses crossing
town boundaries. You’re with me now. She’ll
understand. That forest was full of wolves.
You can’t be too careful these days
(even the nursing homes aren’t safe).
Don’t think about the wolf, the howls
or the things he said to persuade you.
Eyes, ears, teeth all traps: don’t use them.
You have her rocking chair. Just sit now.