Monsters Under the Bed

Monsters Under the Bed

When I was young, I could not sleep

for fear

of monsters under the bed.

I would hang over the edge of the mattress,

and pluck up the dust ruffle,

peering into shadowy corners

to see what I could see.

And I would beg my mother to leave the light on.

But she would only smile and say,

"My darling son, there are no monsters."

But there were. And there are.

They are out there, lurking.

Beyond my window. Beyond my door.

I have seen them. Met them. Conversed with them.

Shared a drink with them. Spent time with them as their guest.

I know them, know their names, and their faces, and their habits,

and they know mine.

So now I sleep far from my window,

and double lock my door,

and leave the lights on when I can,

so I can see them coming.

But I sleep soundly nevertheless,

and no longer worry what is under my bed.

Because under my pillow,

I have a gun.