Red Riding-hood’s Garden

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Gabriel Griffin

Her father put up such a picket fence—
stakes sharpened at the top, a bolted gate—
the postman, even, thought to take offence
(though he knew nothing of the poisoned bait).
Her mother said, Stop your endless moaning!
Grow some nice flowers—and take off that old hood!

(Risky now to let her go off roaming:
you never know what’s lurking in the woods!)
So do her good, mum said, to get some air;
Have a go at gardening, give us a hand!

(In secret mum sowed wolfbane here and there,
to be quite sure that beast kept off their land.)
But there’s nothing like a teenager to suss you out:
‘foxgloves’—who’d ever fall for that?—such lies!
The maiden pulled each plant up every night
dying to see again his wicked eyes.


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About the Author

GABRIEL GRIFFIN lives on an antique island in the centre of Lake Orta in the Italian Alps, next to the largest Benedictine convent of enclosed nuns in the world. The founder and organiser of the Poetry on the Lake annual competition & festival (, editor of anthologies and journals, her own poems have been prized often and widely published.

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