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The Friday Poem by Emma Neale

New verse by Dunedin writer Emma Neale


Big Bad


She cried wolf but she was the wolf

so she slit sad’s bellyskin

and stones of want rolled out.


She cried lack — and she was the lack

so she stitched up sad’s bellyskin

but more wolf leapt out.


She cried wolf till wolf was all cried out

and up skipped those stones

like knock-kneed urchykins


to finger-feed her humble pie

smooth her voice like teacher’s chalk

soften her palms like baker’s flour


and those stones they smacked

their lips and sang,

yes, yes Miss Cat-skin,

you’ll do for the kitchen;

please, please miss Wolf-skin,

won’t we all do for love?


Emma Neale, 2017

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