Seven (A child of Seven, Poem)

SEVEN     (Pfeltner 1994)

Mom blew out the candle, “To bed”
“It’s much too early for bed,” he said.
“The room is too dark and cold,
Please by the fire until my book I’ve read?”
“Don’t be so daring, you’re not that old,
Off to your room, it’s time for bed.
Go right to sleep, no candles tonight.
No reading for you, there isn’t enough light.”

Too old I feel to know these fears,
This house it lives two hundred years.
The furniture old and glaring,
I feel past owners staring.
Away from the fire and into the dark,
The stairs sag weary from lack of heart.
Under the covers cold and shaking,
My life they’ve bet and if I’m waking.

Reciting prayers in fear of sleep,
Through eternal darkness I might leap.
The living house it screams and screeches,
From the claws of ancient branches it reaches.
Under the covers I dare not speak,
Before I sleep that one last peek.
There by the bed all dressed in red,
That familiar face with horns on his head.

Claws gently tapping, “Why this fear and dread?
You think you safe in this flimsy bed?
These covers are thin and made of cotton,
Your friends downstairs have long forgotten.
It’s not death you hear, it’s life you fear.
Why this worry of death when I’m so near?
You’re mine you hear, Tis foolish these thoughts of Heaven?
The night is My Domain,” clutching the child of seven.