The Monster

by Cornelia Rohde

All I ever wanted out of childhood, was to escape
the monster underneath the bed; the terror of its bony
claw dragging me to darkness. The line in the prayer
my mother taught me: “if I should die before I wake,”
only made me think it highly likely I could be dead by dawn.
 

But when I looked out at the cold clear night
and saw the crescent moon, I’d wonder if the deer
slept warm, and if the coons were cozy in their homes.
The burrow of homemade quilts pulled me into sleep;
yet the next night, when standing at my bedroom
doorway, I’d take a running, flying leap.

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