Big Bad Wolf

With the booming voice even thunder envies

Whispers of a frown furrowed in his brow

The wolf sees what you could be and

Eats up your confidence

Spitting out your dreams in “shoulds”

With quick-witted quips

Big Bad Wolf

With footsteps you’ve memorised

The jangle of keys against coins

And the tempo of the tread

He walked fear through your mind for so long

Footprints left in the setting pathways

No longer erased so easily

Big Bad Wolf

Cannot deny his nature

When his attempts to nurture

Present backhanded

Stealing his sting from the cold

Bark and bite weaponised

Against the reared head of the past

Big Bad Wolf

Intimidates, he is a heavy shadow

Full of forceful words, pervasive and demanding

Urgent and desperate

To shield you from mistakes you are yet to make

The wolf feeds you doubt to keep you close

Stale water in an empty vase

Big Bad Wolf

With eyes just like yours

A storm in summer

Capturing the world in your wake

His forecast is made with outdated equipment

Not able to measure your floods

As it once detected his hurricanes

Big Bad Wolf

Is softening his touch

And making better choices

The smoke that clings to him has dissipated

The shadows fade as they feel more sunlight

He is loosening his grip, retracting his claws

Giving wounds a chance to heal

Big Bad Wolf

Looks so small in that bed

Scary in a whole new way

Once ever present, overbearing

Suddenly withering

The way you often have before him

A whole new wolf to fear, it seems

Big Bad Wolf

Becoming more like a dog

Claws clubbed into flat fingernails

Teeth ground down by gnawing troubles

Inescapable insomnia

Attempts to delay the inevitable

But the world passes by regardless

Big Bad Wolf

Hesitates and ruminates

But the extra time spent counting sheep

Has pulled the wool from his eyes

And he has adjusted his view

Funny how the dark can make you see clearer

As you huddle closer to share the way

Big Bad Wolf

Is being memorialised

In truths you never recognised

Until the past felt bigger than the present

And the future was empty of him

You are learning who he is

Like a new language

Big Bad Wolf

Isn’t bad, he never was

Just misguided, and your perception warped

By the typical tenderness of childhood

And you wish you could have told him

You are proud to be like him

Before you could hold all of him in your hands

Jaime Berglin is a queer, neurodivergent poet and aspiring editor, who is fascinated by the impact of time on both process and product of writing. They most enjoy volunteering, seeing live music, sitting by the ocean, and learning about the structures and use of language.