for Ken Bolton
While waiting for Little Red Riding Hood in her
grandmother’s bedroom the wolf is trying to sing
“My Funny Valentine”
the way Chet Baker does.
He knows he can’t, won’t
put a paw over one ear, doesn’t want to hear how
he’s performing. He’s aware
Little Red Riding Hood is getting closer, and
his eyes wander
to a reproduction, framed and leaning
against the wall, of a Vermeer. He touches
his wet nose to the milk pouring from the clay jug
into a two-handled bowl. Now he remembers
singing to the moon and his mother. Is that
what Chet Baker was doing? Did Baker’s
mother protect him when he was small?
Did she teach him about prey?