Told to fear the dark, my tiny legs bolted
the breathless distance from the milking barn
across to the house, a yard-light pale enough
to cause more fear than relief. Over my
shoulder, the panicked movement of my own
shadow, distorted by monsters on my heels,
their yellow triangle teeth snarled below
blood-red eyes. Slam the screen door, safe
inside, only to know they’d be waiting, certain
death in the attic crawlspace next to my bed.
Just now finished with the night feed, strolling
out on this moonless prairie to close my farm
gate, worn house-slippers on tired feet, weaving
my path from the barn around behind the
outbuilding, nodding to elderly monsters who
loiter by the fence line, taking in the night air.
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