How can you see that now is only a few years after once upon a time?
Because she isn’t wearing a speck of red except for that worn dab of shadowy plum across her fragile bow-shaped lips.
Now a protocol of covered buttons have taken up advance positions in order to defend her from the wild, wild woods.
Since that hood failed to contain all her unruly curls the task has been reassigned to a swathe of snowy organza remaindered from a milliner’s bolt of wedding silks.
The huntsman married a less experience girl who lives in the passage of time rather than remaining stuck in a single moment of lost innocence which can forever ruin anyone’s taste for ales and cakes delivered in picnic baskets by well-meaning relatives.
She has learned to lift one eyebrow, the barest distance into disdain, quelling jokers who attempt that fateful query, “Knock. Knock.” “Who’s there?”
She never talks to strangers or looks too long at the faces of young girls listed as “missing- presumed dead.”
And if you study the dark at the center of her eyes you can just make out the half-digested nakedness of that old woman’s ancient skin after Grandma was cut from her repository inside the wolf.
When the chronicle of his youthful escapades hit the best seller list she endured an endless round of interviews. After all, what is there to life but to endure?
When he took the carrot into his heart and was reborn a Vegan she might have laughed; if asked.
When he yielded to public pressure and accepted a seat in the senate she did not move a single muscle on her face.
But she understands the allure. With the terror there had been pain but, she would never say it–loathe to admit it to another–she still remembers the shameful softness of fur warm upon her breasts.