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Loving all the Bad Creatures
Face facts, little ones. You will be
Scared. Honestly, you should be.
Let’s start with the bogeyman:
Child guzzler, foundling snatcher,
Tremulous, trembling weakling
With too much bravado and drink.
Then, the nighthag who roams the dark
In her clickity chariot and picks
Up bones and ribs along the fields:
Imagine her roaring through reeds
And wheeling over bridges,
Hunting down children just like you.
Or scarecrows who huddle over
thick soups of rag and bone– mottled
and simmering at the hearth.
Little limbs and braids caught
In their teeth, the bony gone-by men
Rattle their sticks. They suck and lisp
Like the child guzzlers they are.
Witches and cannibals, fava-toothed
crones in the delta gloom, collecting
little children in baskets, dressed up
like orchids. Here’s the secret.
We like to be afraid. Most of us do.
Who’d want to live in a world without
Creatures, without the lovely screams
And all the courageous derring-do?
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