Under the Bed

It’s important to maintain
the element of surprise.

Remain silent while parents
coddle a nervous boy. Cling

to shadows with extended
claws. Don’t let the light hit you

or you’re out. Laugh aloud as
the switch is flipped, but stop when

junior starts to listen. Don’t
let his suspicions grow too

soon or he’ll holler them back,
just keep him on his toes.

Shuffle by toys from bed to
closet and whistle like wind

through drafty windows. Emit
a spectral glow until he

glances, then hide from sight in
the corner of his eye. Brush

his cheek as you clamber down
below the bed. Whisper, ‘sweet

dreams’ as he starts to nod and
watch him jump awake. Then, loom

large in silhouette, lean in
and grin with flickering teeth.

Hide from his screams while haggard
parents claim it’s just a dream.

PAD Challenge 17: an elemental poem


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