May 2, 2022

Poetry Showcase: The Little Red Tarot, By Alexandra Seidel


Editor's Note: Today's Poetry Showcase is a tarot-themed interpretation of a classic tale originally published in EC's "Little Red Riding Hood Issue" from 2011. Enjoy!

The Seven of Wolves
Something that awaits beyond a turn in the road,
something that you can't quite see yet and therefore
something dark.

"Where to, on this twilight road? Most souls
you will encounter here, are like dead trees
in a wood of dead trees. Why don't you come with me?"

Three of Roads
A path that takes you to your destination
in a roundabout fashion;
a road that ends.

"Come, girl, let me show you where the butterflies are. Leave the flowers
for another day."

Ace of Grapes
A thing that is full turns empty,
a thing that is ripe stains;
conquests are not always glorious.

"Sweet as wine! Sweet
as pomegranate stains!
Sweet as melting warm cake on your tongue;
I said I'd show you butterflies, and so I did.
Moths is what the butterflies of the moon are called."

The Circling Staircase
Inevitability and hidden choices, the places
in which we hide our choices
to conjure a sense of inevitability; fear.

"I am tired now, want to find sleep in your arms.
I am so tired, but at least in your arms,
I can sleep."

The Well, Reversed
Chance encounters, chances that come
like the flip of a coin;
meeting old friends and faces from the past.

"My girl, finally you're home! Your mother said
she'd sent you to me. Do not take roundabout roads
and what are you babbling, dear,
my face isn't his, my face isn't his...?"

Five of Stones
Something that is resolved
with the stitching together
of two frayed edges; a weight.

"There you are, don't leave me
asleep in the wake of twilight; all the trees
are dead in this forest, there is nothing
in this place for you to return to.
I don't know much but I believe
that the greatest love is like hunger.
Come to me, I'll starve no more."

Alexandra Seidel's writing can be found at Strange HorizonsStone TellingMythic Delirium and elsewhere. She edits poetry for Niteblade and Fantastique Unfettered. 

Cover Image: An original card from the tarot deck of Jean Dodal of Lyon, a classic "Tarot of Marseilles" deck from 1701–1715 via Wikimedia Commons.


Mandy said...

WOW! My favourite lines:
"I said I'd show you butterflies, and so I did.
Moths is what the butterflies of the moon are called."

HulderMN said...

Very cool idea, to let the tarot lead the poem!

Kristen Baum DeBeasi said...

What an imaginative interpretation of the LRRH story. I enjoyed this so much!