For The Girls Who Do Not Fear Wolves

For The Girls Who Do Not Fear Wolves

When Little Red Riding Hood
Defeats the wolf –
When the lamb becomes the lion –
And the prey becomes the huntress –
Everyone acts surprised.

As if they did not see her coming.
As if they did not place the salt on her wounds.
As if they did not cut her open, open her wide –
Expect her to swallow her defeat.

They should’ve learned
A long time ago
Exactly who she was.
You saw the scars.
You saw the battle wounds.
You knew she survived them.

So tell me,
What kind of woman survives this kind of war?
Only a woman who is the war.

Who brings the war with her,
Her bare naked feet filled with soot,
Scorched earth between her toes.
They tried to pour ice into her lungs –
Tried to keep the truth buried, frozen –
Tried to keep her quiet, but they forgot –

She still breathes fire because she was made from it.

You will ask her to bow and she will climb.
You will ask her to crawl and she will rise.
You will ask her to die and she will be reborn.
You will bury her and she will grow.

You should’ve known that
This is not a woman
Who fears the wolf.
The wolf fears her. Thought Catalog Logo Mark

Like this poem? Check out more poems like this in She Who Destroys the Light: Fairy Tales Gone Wrong.

About the author

Shahida Arabi

Shahida is a graduate of Harvard University and Columbia University. She is a published researcher and author of Power: Surviving and Thriving After Narcissistic Abuse and Breaking Trauma Bonds with Narcissists and Psychopaths. Her books have been translated into 16+ languages all over the world. Her work has been featured on Salon, HuffPost, Inc., Bustle, Psychology Today, Healthline, VICE, NYDaily News and more. For more inspiration and insight on manipulation and red flags, follow her on Instagram here.