The Crooked Man

The crooked man came again tonight.

You said he wouldn’t.

I saw you lock the door. Only the doorknob. You told me I wasn’t being good enough for chocolate. I cried and screamed. I’m sorry if you thought it was for chocolate.

He came last night. You told me to hush. You told me a story about an old man fishing on the sea.

I told you about the crooked man. How he wound up through a crack in the earth. You thought it was a story too. You didn’t think it was a good story. I’m sorry you thought it was a story.

I begged to sleep in your bed. You said I was spoiled and my feet stank. Said mommy spoiled me and never gave me a bath. Is it spoiled to be scared? I didn’t think so.

There was creaking in the yard outside my room. You told me it was the tree. You kissed me goodnight and told me I was silly. I told you you were blind. I’m sorry you’re blind.

Now the lights are off because you don’t want to switch them on. Now you’re afraid. Now you’d want to sleep in my bed, but I’m not in it anymore.

In a minute you’ll look for me and your hand will bump into my bedpost. At least you’ll think it was my bedpost.  You won’t call for me, because it’s too silly. You’ll know I’m in my bed, that I’m just a brat who doesn’t want to sleep.

The crooked man came again tonight.

I’m sorry you missed him.

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