4.5

Hairs on my neck exalt themselves

4.5

A gasp and a cry.
Thumping up
steep stairs.
(Too steep. Stupid builders!)
“Creak,” shouts the landing.
The end of the
     hallway groans.
Shuddering with sobs,
my boy is waiting
     for a savior.
“Jesus is keeping you safe.”

Fears stilled.
We douse the bedside lamp.
Darkness pounces,
never slinks,
     into the room.
A preschool imagination fires
a million
synaptic
          candles.
Sleep quenches them –
     one
then 10…

Later I pause at the door.
Hairs on my neck exalt themselves –
What if he’s not alone?
The panic of a four-and-a-half year old
throttles me.
       And ghouls and goblins
       and bad guys and grey wolves
        parade through the open windows
       of my heart
       into his room.
I steel myself; inhale.
The door exhales.

A child alone,
basking in his tiny faith.

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