Juan wandered off into the wood
Before he broke his fast or said his prayers.
He followed hunting paths until he stood
Disoriented, breathing morning airs,
And watching luscious Little Red Riding Hood
Come jiggling down the path, and all his cares
Of finding some way back to camp were gone.
He contemplated what found him at dawn.
He smiled and then most eloquently bowed.
She curtsied “A wolf! But you’re not scary, though.”
“I’m wounded you’d say such a thing out loud —
You shouldn’t …” but she cut him off mid-flow:
“My grandma told me all about your crowd:
You’re ‘Mad, bad and dangerous to know’.”
Taken aback, well, what could Juan do
But try to tell her that it wasn’t true.
He spoke a while to make her understand
He posed no threat, and said that they were done
With their encounter. He smiled, politely bland,
And said he’d treat her like a novice nun,
And go another way. She took her hand,
Til then inside the basket, out with a gun,
And said, “Oh, no! The Big Bad Wolf can’t fail!
You’re gonna eat me, just like in the tale.”
She poked him to a shady clearing where
She said they wouldn’t be disturbed, and spread
A blanket down. She gave a saucy stare,
Took off her hood and dress, and smiled and said
That she could see his interest growing there.
She had him strip to see its pulsing red,
Then put away the gun, kicked off her drawers,
And said “I knew those tales were metaphors!”
An hour later they lay side by side
Breathing hard and covered in their sweat
Juan thought her wholly satisfied,
And so she was til she began to pet
And kiss him trying to arouse his pride
And get again the gift girls want to get.
She shook his floppiness; he writhed a bit;
She frowned when not much sturdy came of it.
“What the hell is going on out here?”
The deep and manly voice was very loud,
Its owner stepped into the clearing. Fear
At once so shrank the gift that was half proud
Inside her fist that she could only jeer
“Apparently my wolf thinks three’s a crowd,”
She tossed his pants to him and turned away,
And cooed “Perhaps the woodman wants to play.”
She lifted up her ankles wide apart.
The woodman dropped his trousers with his axe,
And Juan, grateful, heavy around the heart,
Admired her as she embraced the facts —
And Riding Hood herself gave a little start
At what would surely plumb her to the max.
A certain focus entered their proceedings —
And Juan crept away beyond their heedings.
It wasn’t long that Juan had the blues
Because he had, before he’d done his creep,
Enriched his clothing with his shirt and shoes
And took the basket, too, without a peep.
All he had to do from there was choose
A path to camp to get some needed sleep –
And leave behind the glade that now was rife
With pleasured cries from she who’d saved his life.
Although, of course, he also had the gun
Where Riding Hood had hidden it again.
Ideal for when you’re sort of on the run,
A thing that happens every now and then
Whenever the pursuit of having fun
Has landed you in some vice-ridden den
Where “Sorry” and a smile at toes you step on
Will only get you by if you’ve a weapon.
But out there in the wood no den of vice
Was likely to be found. Instead his fears
Are though he’s dressed and armed he’s twice
As lost. But it’s not long until he hears
The trickle of a stream and in a trice
The sounds of making love don’t reach his ears
As, though his downstream walking gets him damp,
It isn’t long until he’s back at camp.
And oh! the wild adventure he can’t tell!
For who’d believe that even Juan’s luck
Would run to having nubile maids compel
Him in the middle of the woods to fuck
Them senseless, then they save his life as well?
It sounded like the sheerest jive and shuck,
So Juan told a tale so highly glossed
It sounded like he’d simply gotten lost.
Not much is known about Marcus Bales except he lives in Cleveland, Ohio, and his poems have not appeared in Poetry Magazine or The New Yorker.