Fairytale Ending: Second Place Sandy Crimmins Poetry Prize Winner

a wolf at the door, no invitation.
he must have followed me, my soil
trail, blood-slick and heavy,
to a shrouded timber cottage and then-
one, two, three scratches.

i let him in, grey fangs and fur.
ragged and raging,
my heart falls in my chest,
but the wolf catches it, grips it,
growls. and knows.

his claws curve like a question;
would i like to be reborn
in salt and apples and skin.
hunter’s woods, borrowed words;
i answer.

with burnt breath and steady tread,
the wolf chews warm hands
and cold heart; winds tendons
’round his tongue. he bites into a haunch,
huffing and puffing: mine, mine, mine.

as i fade into the lines of his stomach,
i can’t say i didn’t want this,
not even a little, because
i’m no good red hood:
i am his, his, his.


Kayla Hilliard graduated from Temple University in 2010 with a B.A. in History. She works as a case manager for school therapeutic support services in the city of Philadelphia and sometimes writes poems on her lunch breaks. Kayla resides in South Philly with her two cats and expatriate husband.