Everybody Knows a Wolf Can’t Smile
by Daniel McGinn

A wolf walks at her side. He keeps growing with the shadows, stretching his big bad self across the woods, loping smoothly with a six tree stride. The fur on his back is wild and electric, not soft and pretty like the hair that slips in haphazard curls from between Red’s hood and cape. The wolf has forgotten about the basket of goodies and is fixated on the scent of little girl blood. His paws move silently. His ears stand erect as he focuses on her footsteps, snapping twigs and comingling of breath that joins the girl to the animal. Look at the moon resting on Red’s riding hood as if she is the source of light. Look at the wolf, housed in darkness, hidden by trees, his eyes lit bright and yellow like a blackbird that waits and watches and almost smiles.

IMAGE: “The Woods Belong to Me” by Budi Satria Kwan. Prints available at


ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Daniel McGinn‘s work has appeared numerous anthologies and publications, his full length collection of poems, 1000 Black Umbrellas was released by Write Bloody Press. He recently earned an MFA in writing from Vermont College of Fine Arts. He and his wife, poet Lori McGinn, are natives of Southern California. They have 3 children, 6 grandchildren, two parakeets, and a very good dog.