portion of the artwork for Ken Poyner's poetry

Bedtime Fright
Ken Poyner

I am not your personal soothsayer.

I can only say so much
About the fish-empty oceans,
The plastic trash gyres,
Species sublimation,
The methane of unfreezing permafrost,
Oceans creeping—then sprinting—inland,
Rivers with mouths of industrial toxins,
Land so bare it runs away with the rain,
Weather that flings unfathomable temper tantrums,
Complacency in the fists of better armies.

You have your own convenient ideas
About the terrors we collectively birth.

Once they were to be the were-terrors
Of your great grandchildren,
More recently of your grandchildren,
Of late of your children. But maybe
They are not terrors at all, and
Our broad-shouldered imagination has saved
Everyone.

You hear the light, discordant step.
There is the brush of dismal air at your neck.
The monster-closet door hinge squeaks.
Your heart begins to think of its own effort.

The noise you believe to be but a creaking hinge;
You roll away, and sleep.


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FRiGG: A Magazine of Fiction and Poetry | Issue 55 | Spring/Summer 2020