A kiss on the cheek and a pat on the head,
Covers up to my chin, all tucked tight in my bed.
The door has been closed; the light’s out for the night,
And I lie all alone, my eyes wide open with fright.
Because I know once it’s dark, the end could be near,
And I hear them start chuckling as I shiver with fear.
For under my bed is the sorriest lot,
Of creatures most foul that were ever begot.
And though I know, Mom would say, “Such imagination!”
They still slobber and drool in gleeful anticipation.
I’ve counted and named every last one,
Though I guarantee the process was no kind of fun.
There are twelve in residence under my bed,
Waiting and wondering when next they’ll be fed.
And as long as I toss them some raw meat or a bone,
I’ve found they’re more likely to leave me alone.
I feed them in order from twelve down to one,
And call out their names ‘til the last one is done.
There’s Garbage-Gut, Toad-Face, and Slime-Bucket, too,
Snot-Nose and Four-Eyes and Salamander Sue.
Rattail starts fighting Bilgebreath and Snark;
While Slugbug and Horseface chow down in the dark.
The only one finally left to be fed,
Is a big ugly creature that I simply call Fred.
When they’re done with their feast and finally quiet,
And my bed has stopped bouncing with the end of the riot,
Then I’m finally secure in the knowledge that I,
Have once again been lucky enough not to die.
I whisper, “Good night” to the group under my bed,
Fluff up my pillow and lay down my head.
And after my monsters all promise they won’t make a peep,
Then at last my eyes close as I drift off to sleep.
Candace is a sixty-seven-year-old retired educator, Zumba Instructor, photographer, and grandmother who lives (geographically) in the armpit of Cape Cod. She loves walking her greyhound Magick down to the river every morning. She has been writing poetry and YA fantasy novels for many years and is hoping to publish her first book, soon.