Six Little Red Caps: Ruby

27 Jul

They say

the day I was born

wolves howled in the naked light of the sun

a horse trampled a three-year-old to death

and people wearing their pale December faces

felt the ground tremble beneath their feet –

stared at their shoelaces as if

they might slither to life

creep down their throats

and pluck out their bones one by one by one,

savoring the fibulas and femurs,

crushing them to blood and marrow and instinct.


Maybe the same things happened the day

fifteen years later

when I stole Scarlet’s car keys right off the table

and Carmen’s secret vodka where she keeps it

under her bed and still thinks no one knows

and had myself some fun

(if you know what I mean);


I couldn’t tell you, really,

since I ended up with the steering wheel buried in my thigh

and those slippery little vertebrae all over the place

happy birthday, Ruby.


Now I wear a brace that throttles my leg:

a reminder of His hands on my neck and

the tang of His cigarette as smoke

crawled into the pores of my skin.


After the accident He stopped

coming around here so much.


Written with the permission of Auriea Harvey.  Other poems in the series include:

Six Little Red Caps: Prologue

Six Little Red Caps: Scarlet

Six Little Red Caps: Carmen

Six Little Red Caps: Ginger

Six Little Red Caps: Rose

Six Little Red Caps: Robin

‘The Path’ is an incredibly complex game with a lot of different interpretations.  If you have views regarding the meaning of any of these characters, especially Ruby, I’d love to hear your comments!


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