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Jul 2015
There’s sometimes a space
between closing the door and turning on the light.
In the darkness I see tentacles,
I see bursts of evil, I flick a switch
and swear everything scary is under the bed.
Alone, I’ll run out of bathroom cubicles,
I’ll hurriedly wash my hands in the sink,
I’ll feel a face creeping up behind the mirror,
walk double speed down a school corridor
desperate for company, followed by a feeling
someone is watching.

On weekends I’ll wait at a bus stop-
a man with a cigarette stares at my skirt
I shift my glance sideways,
I stand next to the lady with the pushchair,
I grip my ticket fiercely.
I stare at empty bedsheets and covered walls
and wonder if the body will be gone soon, too,
I celebrate and **** the knock on the door,
I wait for the day it won’t come.
I spill out my words and wait for ridicule
I paint out patterns that shouldn't exist
I feel the silent murmurs of disagreement
I swallow down my pride and hide.

I hide away in my bedsheets so the monsters cannot get me.
I hide away at bus stops so the monsters will not get me.
I hide away from confessions so the monsters cannot get me.
As long as I cannot be courageous; the monsters will not get me.
Martha O'Brien
Written by
Martha O'Brien  UK
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