against a wolf at the door

by Helen Jayne Gunn

Summer’s end you traipse Red Riding Hood style
into the wood, off the path to be bloodied
and purpled picking blackberries. Child
of the Grandmothers Sugar Roll & Preserving
Pan Collective. It is in your DNA
to weave hand and arm through aggressive
laces of briar. Your fingers pluck
a season of weather encoded
in blackberry ripeness or grubby beads
of drought. Trampled grass ̶ evidence
of old or recent plunder by unknown other.
Is that snap a paw breaking twig or the distant
crack of a wood-cutter’s axe? Your collecting bag
swells to wolf-head shape, amethyst bleeds
the weave. When evening casts her blackberry
shadows run. Run swiftly home.