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Poetry is just the evidence of life. If your life is burning well, poetry is just the ash. Leonard Cohen

Thursday, April 28, 2011

Monsters

Childhood monsters 
image source
Can be vanquished
With a flashlight
A magic wand
Another glass of water

Some monsters are appeased
With rituals
No toes sticking out of the covers
And it won't nibble them off
Flush the toilet,count to ten, and run back to bed
It can't get you until eleven

Even the ones who dwell under the bed
Or in the closet
And have pointy teeth and yellow eyes
Won't cross the threshold
Of a parent's bedroom
Even they follow the rules

Then one day you overhear
A hushed conversation
While playing with Legos
Or coloring with your new crayons
You hear the word "monster"
And the grown-ups faces don't look quite right

One day a neighbor girl
Teases you and says 
"Better not go outside by yourself-you'll get raped."
And you ask your mother what that means
And then you wish you hadn't 
But you can't take it back now

It's 1974
The grown-ups have that look again
And you ask who Adam Walsh is anyway?
Then you learn
That the monsters are real
And they don't play by the rules now.

submitted for the Thursday Think Tank, #46, Monsters at Poets United

21 comments:

Krislin Neo, Ting (Syracuse Pike) said...

I was nodding.. Yeah, those words and questions, never to be taken back.. and yes, they don't play by rules..

Kim Nelson said...

The last stanza chills.

Sherry Blue Sky said...

Oh this is so powerful, Lola. The Adam Walsh story was and is so heartbreaking. Have you read John Walsh's Tears of Rage? Yes, monsters - all too real.

Anonymous said...

very interesting and so very true they don't play by the rules now.

Eileen T O'Neill ..... said...

lolamouse,

A very scary and chilling story. Sadly, all so true these days and innocence taken forever.

Eileen

Christine said...

I can remember the moment that someone educated me on the "monsters" that lurked out there. You never look at the world the same way after that.

Fireblossom said...

the world is a scary place indeed.

Paul Andrew Russell said...

Powerful writing, Lolamouse.

There are indeed no rules as far as they are concerned.

Canada said...

Yes, that exactly what I wanted to hear! The information and the detail were just perfect. I think that your perspective is deep, its just well thought out and really fantastic to see someone who knows how to put these thoughts down so well. Perfect post...

Pat Tillett said...

This is REALLY good and got to me. I love reading things I can feel and I sure felt this one! There are lot's of monsters out there. I've had more than my share of experiences around them... Hope you are having a great week!

Isabel Doyle said...

and those latter day ones cross every threshold
well written piece

M. A. S. said...

Powerful. Especially the 5th stanza. I love the last 2 lines there. Good take on monsters.

Mary said...

Lolamouse, I really liked this poem. You started out in a light manner, talking about how children's mopnsters are not scary at all and then travel into the sinister real life monsters that steal children's innocence away and end with a chilling stanza!

Old Ollie said...

The worst type of monster.

trisha said...

these monsters are the real ones. very powerfully portrayed.

Salem Lorot said...

Sad that the monsters that children fear most are hogwash. The real monsters which ironically they don't fear suck life out of them. You wrote this so beautifully.

Ginny said...

Powerful piece. I remember when Adam Walsh disappeared in '81. Innocence disappeared with him, and we would watch our children that much closer, and would teach them to stay close, to be wary of those "monsters" who could whisk them away, who would not love them like their mommy and daddy did. Nicely done.

Anarchist Girl Scout said...

Okay, when I was younger I was a totally weird kid (now I hide it better), and I saw this thing on television about the supernatural. I FREAKED THE FUCK OUT. I would not let my parents move the furniture in my room because I was afraid, "the spirits," would get angry and drag me to hell for disrupting the peace in, "their house." I'm not such a lunatic anymore, and I do realize that the assholes I've encountered as an adult are a far bigger threat than any boogey man.

madhumakhi said...

It is a scary realisation that there are real monsters that cannot be warded of by customs and rituals. Spookily well written

Ella said...

Chilling and so true; it is scary what they can do! You painted the horror, so well~

nene said...

Sometimes even behind those dark caverns where demons perch there evinces a light and a 'Mariposa' with gossamer wings flies out of the dark and rests upon your shoulder.

Sorry for your moment of darkness.