Three Versions of Scarlet
Lesley Pasquin

Though your sins be as scarlet, they shall be white as snow.

No one bleeds in fairy tales except by sword or axe or shards of glass falling from the sky. If bleeding occurs, towers are built and hedges grown so full of thorns they blind those trying to enter. Spindles are hidden lest they prick the innocent. Wooden feet replace red shoes.

Tattoo the letter on your breast. Lay on the bed in wild profusion, splayed ribbons bought with blood.

Lesley Pasquin is a Montreal educator, writer and poet. She teaches in the Faculty of Education at McGill University. Her poems have been published in carte blanche, Montreal Serai, Poetry-Quebec, and Leonard Cohen You're Our Man. She won Poem of the Year 2008 for Room and is shortlisted for Poem of the Year 2010 for Arc Magazine