My childhood ended at six years old.
Nothing would ever again feel secure.
My very bed was even tainted,
Soiled by the skin of a towheaded creature
The likes of which I’d never seen before.
My parents failed to process my horror.
They said “Son, we are safe now, we’ve locks on the door.”
And my friends laughed, no matter what picture I painted
Of what we came home to that cool Sunday morn.
Mom implored me, “don’t fear.”
But my fear just grew.
It grew like the moon does from waning to waxing,
Grew like the foxgloves in Mother’s back garden,
Grew from a cub…
To a Big Bad Wolf,
Who lurks in the woods,
Ready to strike,
To eat out at whim
My fearful, longing heart.
In my dreams, I see her there still.
A sinister repose, lying in my place of slumber.
A small smile on a wicked face to always haunt my dreams,
Blonde locks upon my pillow,
Shedding, leaving trace,
To remind me of the horrors that I witnessed on that morning.
When I was but a child,
My parents would help me check my room for monsters,
Big, scary, creatures with horrible, gnashing, teeth,
Aching to eat my screaming lungs out
With a single, awful bite.
That cool, Sunday morning,
I learned that the monsters under my bed
Would not stay lurking in the shadows of my imagination.
Reality bit me with ivory fangs.
The monster was nothing like I’d thought.
It was bald-skinned, blue-pinafored…
And deceptively peaceful.
Worse yet, it looked perfectly ordinary,
Not the organ-eating horror from my story books or dreams.
No, the thing in my bed was no story book monster.
She was real, and would cut me deep,
Without cartoonish tricks.
My monster taught me a valuable, dastardly lesson
When she ate my family’s hard-earned food
And slipped into my bed.
She showed me that nothing is safe or sacred,
And harm is but a wicked whim away.
Oh, Goldilocks- it hurts to utter your name-
I hope you’re glad for what you’ve done to me.
The horror did not leave my heart when we chased you away.
You’ve given me nightmares for twenty-odd years,
And nothing’s ever felt quite safe again.
I hear the humans hail you as a hero,
Tell tales of your brave home intrusion,
Adoring your name.
But do they tell of the fearful six year old bear cub
Who came in on you sleeping,
And whose childhood was ended that day?
He’s still there, my little monster,
Waiting for someone to hold him,
To soothe him, acknowledge his pain,
And tell him that somehow, someday,
The monsters will go back under the bed
Like in his childhood stories,
Right where they belong.
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