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. It is also linked to Poets United: Poetry Pantry 351

40 comments:

  1. My night worries were full of (terrible) things hiding under the bed, behind the curtains etc. I was never threatened though of possible monsters if I were not good. Maybe a child's imagination runs wild...naturally?
    Was told of the tooth fairy though and she did good!
    Anna :o]

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    1. That's how it was for me too, Anna.

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    2. My mom sometimes would tell my brother and me that if we misbehaved, something that's name translates to "crazy lima beans" would get us. I'm fairly sure she didn't invent the name, but it is within my mother's strange sense of humor to threaten us with lima beans.

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  2. I love how you weave your thoughts here Rommy❤️ from, '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' to '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.' A most tender and thoughtful write❤️


    Lots of love,
    Sanaa

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  3. Then child, you’d know not to fear
    me. You’d have your own teeth
    and voice to make the world listen.

    Your personified Fear has very good advice for the fearful.

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  4. Fear handing you your own teeth is a very very clever concept to bring into the poem. Like it.

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    1. Even though I came up with the prompt, I dithered over which direction to take it when I finally sat down to write. I was pleased with myself for coming up with this angle.

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  5. I've always found dust bunnies to be kinda dry conversationalists, myself.

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    1. They are on the dry and dusty side, but perhaps they just need a little time to loosen up and settle into good conversation.

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  6. Oh, I love that last stanza!

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  7. I remember my brother and I searching through the attics and other places were were told to leave alone. It is safer as a group to disobey.

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    1. Oh definitely. And siblings, even though they can bicker terribly, can sometimes help each other feel a little braver.

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  8. A wise child who can make friends with the fear, and learn from it how to be courageous.

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  9. Wisdom for the fearful. We never learn courage unless we meet fear. You have written a lesson plan for overcoming what goes bump in the night.

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  10. Pink Floyd had a point in the Wall album... ~

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  11. "What if you learned
    to trust yourself in the dark? "

    Luv this attitude and the song of choice is awesome !!

    much love...

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  12. I love to read how our prompt writers handle their prompts. You didn't dissapoint. Probably more blame should go to older siblings than to the parents. I still don't like being in the dark. Same for sleeping, I like to see my surroundings.
    ..

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  13. Yes... how much stronger you are when facing the dark... I used to scare my younger cousins... but they are now stronger than me

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    1. It's interesting how some family dynamics change once we become adults.

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  14. Fear teaches obedience is so true. We are taught to be scared of the dark instead of exploring it. This is going to one of my favorites, Rommy. It is full of so many good things!

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  15. One must wonder what kind of world raises a child in a way so sheltered and apart that a monster is pushed to feel pity. So much so that the monster stayed around not to terrified, but to show that not everything that looks scary (or that is given a scary face) is terrible and to be avoided. A girl needs her teeth and her voice... without them, she won't survive the real world monsters. Thank goodness for mind-monsters that care enough to stick around (and growl).

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  16. This is so very charing, Rommy--love to think of the bogeyman with the dust bunnies. Thanks and thanks for great challenge. Sorry to be so late visiting! k.

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  17. I love the monster's point of view!

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  18. I had never considered the bogeyman from the bogeyman's own perspective. This is a fresh and unique take.

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  19. Sounds like the bogeymen are getting worried as they are not believed in anymore so they are being friendly instead. Good for them, that is how it should be!

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  20. Love that monster's voice trying to rationalize the child's fear... especially liked this line: Dust bunnies aren’t bad
    conversationalists, once
    you get them talking.

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  21. You conquered that monster - sharp poem

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  22. "What if you learned to trust yourself in the dark?" If only kids could be taught THAT!!!! Awesome write, Rommy.

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  23. It's nice to think of the friendly bogeyman cohorting with dust bunnies and giving wise advice! Original and fun read!

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  24. I remember (thanks for reminding me :( of my first overnight camping and all the terrifying noises of nature. Which, of course, I later learned to love.
    ZQ

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