jillypoet: mom trying to write

Each day I wish I had invented waterproof sticky notes (for shower inspiration) or pen-friendly diapers to get down all my quirky thoughts that I am sure are relevant and publishable. And so God (actually another writer-mommy) sent me The Blog.

Saturday, March 10, 2007

That ridiculous hood

Premonitions About the Forest – A Father’s Advice to a Girl Off To College

Forget everything you know about the golden rule,
good karma, the kindness of strangers.
Our world is one giant forest,
trees, wolves, mud underfoot, men around
every towering pine, shotguns quivering in their hands.

When you get set to go
off into the trees, Red Riding Hood,
take care. Take more than a basket
and that ridiculous hood.

There’s the usual precautions,
the smart girl’s staples:
pepper spray
an extra key
a full tank of gas
jumper cables
that hundred I gave you,
tucked not in your bra,
but in your secret compartment.

Don’t give too much away.

When you go off into the forest, Red, beware.
The trees have teeth.
There is fire.
There is blood.
There are winds that blow
hotter, deeper, stronger
than your typical tornado.
I mentioned this to Dorothy.
See what became of her.

Mind the purple trees.
They’re bad shit.
When the sky turns orange and green, run.
Glass may fly out at any given moment.
Catch a shard to light your way.

In the clearing you will see a band of gnarly trees
dancing like old ladies, bending, bowing, scraping.
Join in.

Whatever your premonitions about the forest, dear girl,
know you are always, always alone.

Plan for the future. Check your gauges.
If you ever need help, try standing
at the edge of the forest,
show a little leg.

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Blogger pepektheassassin said...

Fantastic, jilly! But, you always are. Have you read about Ladle Rat Rotten Hut?

"Water bag icy gut," setter wicket woof. "Water bag noisy gut! Water bag mousey gut!"....enter garbled erupt.

Mural: Nerve shutter ladle gull stopper torque wet atrainers!

12:07 AM  
Blogger writerwoman said...

Love the last stanza. Great, fun advice.

12:25 AM  
Blogger January said...

This is fun. But as I was reading it, I was imagining you reading this on stage. Have you ever read your work in public? This would be great at an open mic night.

9:47 AM  
Blogger jillypoet said...

pepek: so early in the morning, so little coffee, but after two reads, I get it!

writerwoman: thank you!

january: i used to, pre-kids. i've been thinking about doing it again, getting hip, you know? 36 is too young to not be hip. maybe i'll take this one on the road. thanks for the idea!

10:05 AM  
Blogger Crafty Green Poet said...

Definitely perform it, it deserves it. I'm still sometimes performing poetry and I'm 40. Age is irrelevant.

12:11 PM  
Blogger celerman said...

I agree the poem's fun, but I have a 12 year old daughter and can see a serious side here too. Really enjoyed it, thanks.

1:37 PM  
Blogger Jessica said...

What great advice -- I think my dad said some variation of this to me on my way out of the house. I love the ending!

2:53 PM  
Blogger Mary said...

OMG! I wish I wrote that poem! I love it. I love that she's carrying condoms. I also love the line "Catch a shard to light your way" and the lines "bending, bowing, scraping./Join in." Truly a good poem.

10:05 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

so glad you posted this for the "red" prompt. and january's right--you must get to an open mic. I'd never attempt it myself so i must live vicariously through you. (it's only fair. i let you into my little mind with margarita and cute waiter flirting night)

3:10 PM  
Blogger James Monet said...

Fabulous poem.


4:49 PM  

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