Charity for Nightmares

The troll beneath the bridge is dying
to invite someone home
to view his etchings.
If only he had a home
or some etchings.
He scratches his pustules
and dreams of art classes.

Count Dracula would
blow you kisses if he could
but his incisors are debilitating.
Necking too I’m afraid
is out of the question.
Imagine love bites
from a sabre toothed tiger.

The bloodcurdling monster
beneath the little girl’s bed
would rather be under the duvet
playing with her sleeve
and listening to her breathing,
with love. Monsters are mad
about night lights that resemble
pink rabbits and quilts
that were stitched by your granny.

Even the warty witch
with her frog’s egg fingernails,
sneaking into the midnight
kitchen to turn the milk sour,
has drenched herself in Chanel No. 5 –
secretly longing for valentines this year.

Would you run a bath for her?
Would you rub her back?
Shh. That’s the frou-frou
of her switch and broom
as she drags them along,
reluctant to leave.

Linda Ann Strang

Linda Ann Strang is the author of Wedding Underwear for Mermaids.

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