Goldilocks came to visit me today.
Her voice was a telephone telling the truth.
No ing’s, the drawl of iron licorice,
the news that Papa Bear’s in love with me,
with me the breakfast mush
is fine. I had her word for it.
Goldie, I should have said,
the anecdote’s a bad habit;
it substitutes for real exchange.
But living as I do, I’ve grown to like the silence,
and I could tell you, if I had the time,
how on my walks I hide the cottage key
where nobody will find it.
The trees are always whispering
what I’m the last to hear. The birds
and squirrels, doing their Disney things,
and the feeling something’s cooling off
back home are bound to get me down.
But I take walks…
on unremarkable paths,
the stares of animals in pain and drawn out of hiding,
are what I like. I kill the small, tame beasts
that come to me in friendship.
So do what you have to, Goldie,
make your unexpected calls.
Papa and the Baby Bears
will tuck you in
and eat each other up.
I’m free and clear:
a forest in a soft bed, a middle-sized chair
in my own house.
“Blonde Burning” was previously published in Iris