I am the Monster
by Alyson Schroll
I am the monster under this little girl's bed.
She crawls into bed each night,
prays a little prayer,
and wishes the light to the bathroom could always stay lit
even if she never had to go.
She doesn't know why I'm here.
It's the dreams. I do what I can to stop the dreams.
I try to stop the pain the nightmares cause.
She should never have to feel the hurt that she does in her sleep.
My growl is fierce, and I fight every chance I get.
Space is small, and my reach is just short.
Some dreams, I can’t stop.
That little girl doesn't understand what I try to do.
Some nights she whispers,
"Hey Monster, can you turn on the light? I have to go potty."
Other nights she screams at me,
"I hate you. Stop helping."
She'll kick and slap.
"Go away. I want to be alone."
Monsters can cry too.
But you see, I love her too much to let her face those dreams alone.
This poem is one of the earlier ones I wrote after my sister, Anna B, returned home after a tenth month stay away from us--though her move was supposed to be permanent and her coming home was supposed to be impossible. The story kind of grabs on to these feelings I had when I realized she hated me. She struggled to understand what my expression of love was to her, and she accused me of not loving her because I didn't let her come home. Her words hurt, and it's hard to love people who hate you. Love isn't contingent on what you get back, and thank goodness it's not, because God would never love us in any way if that were true.