Watch the Shadows

Margaret Calaway

I feel eyes burning

the back of my head.

I see a figure in the corner

who will disappear

as soon as I turn my head.

Just like everyone else, I

dismiss this as my imagination.

I don’t think about it because

I’m afraid of what I’ll find

if I pry further. Yet the memory lingers

in the back of my mind as I

close and lock my windows.

I think I’m following

my instincts, but twenty years later,

I know better. The real

monster doesn’t lurk beneath

my bed; it floats outside my

window. I know to look for

the shadows that don’t

belong. I share this danger with

the children who listen. Ten more years

pass. I’ve stopped helping people.

I’ve lost my sympathy with

my left hand. I’ve learned from my

mistakes. Now, I do what benefits

me, here in this land where children

never grow old.

I still hear the screams.