Red, a poem written by Charlotte Edwards at



written by: Charlotte Edwards



To the Next Red Riding Hood
They will tell tales of what he did to you
How he swallowed you whole
And told you “Red never looked good on you anyway”

They will say, It’s not my fault
That my teeth look like his teeth
That my hands still remind you
Of the bruises, he let bloom on you
That my breath reminds you of his breath
With the same rotting smell
As if he were still picking out the pieces
Of that little girl between his teeth

They will ask what you were wearing
Whispering of how red was the wolf’s invitation
They will tell you that you deserved it
How that’s just what happens to girls who climb in bed with monsters
Why didn’t your mother teach you better

They will question
Why were you in the woods in the first place
It’s like you wanted that wolf to find you
Didn’t your father ever tell you
The woods are no place for girls anyway

And if you think
They will give you the title of
Victim or Survivor
Expect neither

Rather you will become the horror story
They tell their daughters
Passed down like second-hand wisdom
Taught in the silence of too many witnesses
The moral will become
Don’t talk to strangers
What they don’t say is there are wolves
That pretend to be men
They won’t show you how to tell the difference

And even if you take control of your tale
The price for their sympathy
Will be all the gory details
Of how the wolf ripped you open
Made a feast out of your body
Claimed you as his own
And they still call your story a fairytale

To the Next Red Riding Hood
If there’s any advice I can give you it is this
Do not listen to them
Wear red even if they don’t like it
Tell them it’s a metaphor

Know that there will be days
Where you can’t sleep with the lights off
Some nights you will wake up screaming
Dreaming of him finding you again
And at that moment
Your room will look exactly like the woods
And suddenly you’re that little girl in the red hood again
You could have sworn grandma was already dead
There’s no woodcutter to save you
Sometimes there is no escape from him

And I know you think that there are
too many wolves in this world
for it to not happen again

but they’re right
Not all of them are dangerous
However, remember
The scariest part about being the next red riding hood is
Most wolves wouldn’t call themselves one

Latest posts by Charlotte Edwards (see all)
  • Red - June 22, 2020