My response to napowrimo’s Day 12 prompt:
After Returning from Neverland
My familiar, I might have called him once
Too friend to be formal with,
who guarded me from the monsters
that lay in the shadows
Monsters you can feel on the back of your neck
though they cannot be seen.
But more than the blankets
or the night light
or the music box on the shelf,
he protected me.
When the blankets shrunk,
he wrapped me in his white fur
and ensured I never felt cold.
When the light went out
he drew near enough
that I could see his eyes sparkle
and he whispered he wasn’t leaving.
When the music box
mysteriously crashed to the floor
in the middle of the night
as if knocked down
by a poltergeist
he sprang to life
ready to slay the ghost.
Because every child knows
only stuffed animals
can fight ghosts.
The rest of us just go through them.
I loved him through high school.
He flew with me to college.
And I thought I’d never grow up.
And maybe he did too.
Yet now, he has grown dormant
lifeless, on my bed.
Nothing more than a grubby stuffed animal
the germiest thing in the house.
Funny, growing up.
The monsters are bigger now, and yet…
His eyes have grown dull
His fur smeared with years of dirt.
Stuffing leaks from old battle scars
and to my grown-up eyes
look like holes
I do not have the energy to mend.
Yet though he looks
as if he has already been discarded
if I had to end his life,
I would weep,
as if losing a friend.