a poem by Kate Jennifer Johnstone, Australia

It’s that time again, that time that I dread,
That nerve-racking time, when I have to go to bed,
Mum tucks in the covers, “hope the bedbugs don’t bite”,
But I know there are worse things that lurk ‘round at night.

There’s a monster, you see, hiding down there,
That horrible mutant with a red eyed stare,
It hovers in the shadows ‘till the day is done,
Its toothy mouth smirks at the sight of the setting sun.

Mum comforts me, as my face turns to white,
“It’s okay sweetie. Everything’s alright.”
She turns on my night light and closes the door,
“Don’t you worry about those bedbugs anymore.”

We’re all alone now - it’s just the monster and me,
I bet it’s licking its lips now with sheer ecstasy,
I pull up the blankets to cover my head,
To hide me from that creature that lives under my bed.

I have a sudden thought, what if I catch him first?
So I creep out of the blankets, expecting the worst,
But he doesn’t emerge so I bend down to see,
That strange, frightening creature, that’s waiting for me.

I hold the sheet tight to invade his lair,
I jerk it straight back, but I can’t see much down there,
I find a few lint balls, some toys and a tack,
But the monster’s not there tonight, I guess he’s just slack!

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