Closet Monster

I wish you believed
I lived under the bed.
Dust bunnies aren’t bad
conversationalists, once
you get them talking.
and there’s a better variety
of books and toys there.

Of course it isn’t you
who decided I’d be a resident
of closets and nightmares.
Your parents did that.
Create something to fear
and you create obedience.

But what if you weren’t afraid?
What if you liked looking
into all the dark spaces
and asking hard questions
with complex answers?
What if you learned
to trust yourself in the dark?

Then child, you’d know not to fear
me. You’d have your own teeth
and voice to make the world listen.
  
Until then, I’ll pass the time
with your special occasion clothes,
giving the occasional growl
so you’ll hear how it should be done.


This poem was created by the prompt I gave over at Imaginary Gardens With Real Toads: The Boogeyman.

A Pirate's Last Request

You wanted the last thing
I saw with human eyes
to be faces taking satisfaction
from gasps stilled
by the crack of my neck.

I'll look to the sea instead.

A pirate’s corpse
is unfit to lay
with land bound lambs
you reminded me,
unless I renounce myself.

Keep your dirt patch.
I look to the sea.

It holds my heart and soul
with a more tender
and honest cruelty
than any you ever gave.

I want no sterilized afterlife
filled with more like you.
That would truly be hell.

The sea and I suit each other.
I belong there. 

Song Choice: He's A Pirate from Pirates of the Caribbean 

Process Note: A few years ago I visited an exhibition about pirates at one of the local museums. I remember reading a blurb on one of the displays that said pirates were not allowed to be buried in graveyards among the respectable citizens. I immediately had a mental picture of a pirate scoffing at that, which was followed by an urge to write a poem. I actually didn't then, due to having to wrangle my then-young children past the gift shop. But the combination of the two prompts reminded me of what I wanted to write.

Frost on the Tombstone. Photo by Liz Young.

This flash fiction poetry was inspired by the photo prompt at this week's Friday Fictioneers and the prompt at Imaginary Gardens With Real Toads: Outsider Art.