NaPoWriMo 2023, Day 19

Today we were asked to go back in time and write about a bogey man from our past that may still haunt us.

I hope you never met Joe


Fear. It is the birch that beats the child’s back,
Leaving wealds for years,
Whose pain echoes through leaching sores, And silent bleeding tears,
That enchain emotions with ebony screams.
Sweet Hammer Horror double feature dreams.

Just his name was enough to put the fear of God into us.
A name, nothing more.
Unlike the crimes of our uncles and neighbours,
His were untold, unknown except to our imagination,
And fear.
They were worse than those we knew.
We did not know how we knew,
We just knew.
We knew his name,
We knew he knew ours.

As darkness fell by the river,
The smell of our fear would brew,
Oozing from the pores of our near unblemished skin,
Scratching its way along our nerves,
Like fingernails on dry wood.
We never saw him,
But we knew he saw us.
Through blood-shot, red-hot eyes,
He would spy on us.
Always spying,
In the dark,
Ready to pounce,
Ready to leave his mark,
On the backs of children.

We were brave, fearless warriors back then,
Zulu chiefs and astronauts,
Our magical minds conjuring incredible roles,
But Joe,
Joe lived in the cellars and attics of our souls.
He walked the silent bedrooms of secrets,
Stood guard over the playgrounds of isolation,
And kept watch from the tower of failure,
Where he can still be heard today,
Calling out the chant our parents taught him,
Calling out to the grown up children,
“Joe’s gonna get ya, Joe’s gonna get ya”.

4 thoughts on “Joe

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