A Nocturne: “It Was Just Beneath the Window”

It was just beneath the window,
Heard it scratching, yes I did.
It was just beneath the window,
But my peeking was forbid.

Momma told me I might hear it,
Said it would do me no harm,
’Long as I went straight to sleep,
And slept the night right through till morn.

Believe her I did not until
The claws first made a squeak
’Gainst the window pane, and then the terror
Crushed my strength to speak.

Such pictures did I draw upon
The blackboard of my mind,
Nefarious fiends of inky blackness,
Crawled up from the brine.

Their only joy on black, black nights
Was munching little kids
Whose flesh had been quite tenderized
By op’ning tiny lids.

You see, the act of sleeping
Shields the body from the bite,
And the simple act of waking
Gives the beasts a better sight

Of which parts of you are the best
For eating here or on the run,
Crunchy fingers, tender ears,
Juicy eyeballs, flabby buns.

What kind of mother’d dare to hire
Monsters to enforce
The rules of bedtime ‘stead of letting
Things just take their nat’ral course.

Please Jesus make my eyelids heavy.
Let my noggin droop and dream.
Help me find my way past nightmares
Of moms and monsters mean.

I am a goodly child,
Always helpful, ever meek.
Please don’t let it be my downfall
That I simply could not sleep.

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