I'm Older: An Original Poem

I’m older. No longer afraid

of monsters.

 

Ghosts. Ghouls. Werewolves. The boogeyman.

Silly villains and

bristling beasts

of my childhood cartoons

mean nothing.

I don’t curl up in bed, afraid

of midnight,

terrified to unlock

my arms from my sides.

I don’t tiptoe through the house

at night, or freeze in fear when

I hear the rustle

of curtains caught

in the summer breeze,

mocking my immaturity.

I don’t ask Mom

to stay with me

until I fall

asleep.

I don’t ask Dad

to peek under

the bed for eyes

or a grin.

 

I’m older. No longer afraid

of monsters.

 

I’m older. Always afraid

of the real ones.

 

The phone ringing late

at night

to tell me

no survivors.

Or maybe some,

but not the ones I love.

No farewells.

The brutish creature,

creeping, clutching close

to my paranoia

in an alley,

or maybe much closer

to home.

The darkness of the world

envelopes me

on the sunniest days.

Quick, run inside and

lock the door.

The death I know

will come to me

or to those I love.

These people.

The world that retches

us out

of its evil,

bloody gut

once we’re older.

 

I’m older. Every bit as afraid.