Sweet, little Mary Anne
tucked into bed
with teddy bear in hand
said “Mommy Dear,
Please come here.
And light the lamp
so I’ll not fear.”
And Mommy Dear lit the light
the lucifer flaring, blue and bright,
and the smell of wax melting
filled the night,
as the dark pranced away
and demons took flight.
“But Mommy Dear,” said Mary Anne,
“will it burn all the night?”
For the candle sputtered,
it spit and hissed,
and the shadows gathered
against the light.
“Ah,” said Mommy, in confiding tone,
“the candle will keep you quite alone,”
and Mary Anne sighed, and smiled so sweet,
that the candle stretched, and shadows fleet,
vanished the dim, the unknown and hidden,
and all the nightmares come unbidden.
But Mommy Dear, pressing kiss to brow,
loomed over Mary and said, “Sweetheart, now,
remember, it only takes one breath,
swift and silent, just like death,
to snatch the flame and light away,
that keep those monsters all at bay.”
And Mary Anne, clinging to her sheet,
said “Mommy Dear, then how shall I beat
back the boogie-men, the hands under my bed?
How do I keep the demons, the devils from my head?”
And Mommy Dear, she smiled, standing,
and tossed the spent match upon the landing.
And with a grin, not quite right,
said “there’s only one way—
stay awake tonight.”