Poetry: The Midnight Grater

unable to move I gasp, turning
tumbling down rabbit holes meant
to not be remembered at dawn

Pulling up behind my darkened house in their 
shiny black El Camino, bass booming—a thunderous
storm descends upon my unconscious fragile form. I
don’t hear their footsteps as they scribble scramble 
through the muddy murky darkness toward sleeping me.

wondrous whispering willows lean in to 
reveal secret truths, sacred words 
hidden behind the cloudy half-lit moon

Steadfast friends, The Sand Man and The Grater
share midnight missions of messy madness. Sneaking in
at night’s exact middle, they come silently ruffling
my soft, warm blankets. Unknowing, I am fully
helpless to the whims of these nighttime lurkers.

when did missing sunshine turn my
insides colors, making a mockery 
melody moment within my comfy covers

They simply divide and conquer, each moving around
my room to deliver their own precise brands 
of nightly justice. The Sand Man sprinkling dream 
dust into closed eyes, invoking silky soft dreams 
of rest, while his counterpart sharpens his claws.

don’t be afraid little ones they 
say as monsters lurk under 
billowing bed sheets with cutting wits

I’ve never seen The Grater’s form, but I’ve 
felt his silver touch as he comes to 
dance with my worries. It seems rather unfair 
he’s allowed access when the doors and windows 
are so carefully locked with shiny brass deadbolts.

nothing blends into something, twist the 
knob, turn the handle, flip 
switch after switch without the keys

He presses his shiny sharp grates into whatever
skin he can reach, slipping under the quilted comforter
held tight by my sweaty fists. The words
come with him—frightening little whispery repetitions singing
songs of my insecurities/fears with feverish unrelenting cruelty.

he’s never coming back to you
you’ll be left alone with
dark silent shadows under creaking floorboards

The Tooth Fairy has seen his lumbering shape
peeking out from the sheets—flashing silver eyes
and sharpened talons. She folds her transparent wings 
tightly together, snatching at long ago lost baby
teeth—forever forgetting her pouch of golden coins.

shivering, shaking, my body fights back
but movements do nothing to
protect openings—internal portals of pain

Heaviness, his tell-tale calling card, will linger 
around me when I finally fully wake from 
the night. Throwing off blankets, I yawn as 
the echoes of his work stick tight on
red, raw skin. Failure feels immediate and imminent.

tomorrow always comes without command or 
permission, blasting hazy new thoughts
refracted backward, inward, outward toward light

Breath deeply. Stretch. I mustn’t stay still for 
the poison will set and I’ll stay in 
bed. Fight to the shower to scrub the 
sticky words off with fragrant suds, washing his 
work down silver drains back to the darkness.

shake awake fingers, dance to life 
toes, and say farewell to 
nightmares until fractured, the moonlight returns

30 thoughts on “Poetry: The Midnight Grater

  1. Definitely scary! I have nightmares frequently, not fun. Thanks for visiting my blog…I hopped over here to see you, and I so want to be at the beach of your pictures–my fave place in the world!!

    Liked by 2 people

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