From Hell It Came

In the middle of the night while not sleeping, I heard it

snagging on the floorboards as it crept to my bed,

slinking on gold toes until, with the sound of fine unraveling,

it leapt up and landed in a black tangle on my breast

where it settled its foul haunches and sat leering in the dark,

exhaling the sour pickle smell of it’s fetid, fungal breath.

The Sockubus had come!

Bringer of nightmares of unmatched pairs of casual and dress

eternally inverted, mud-caked, sweat-stiff and grass-stained;

of shoe-chewed heals and unknit holes where toes should be;

of elastic snares and nylon pills and sliding shapeless cuffs,

and the telltale bulge of the renegade hidden inside a pajama leg.

He mocked me with bawdy visions of mateless socks reproducing

with sybaritic abandon, wantonly flinging themselves limp and

spent into the lint and cat hair repository beneath the bed.

“Lord save me!” I gasped, crushed by the weight of loose threads.

“Fool!” the dark thing spat, cackling like the hellish rip of static cling,

“What help do you expect of a God who wore sandals?”

© Dana Hughes 1.16.15

New At This

Like a cat she curled around her boy,

pulling him close to warm and feed him,

hoping that when company came, curious

and laden with gifts that no baby needs

unless they could be swapped for things more

useful, like clothes in graduating sizes and blankets,

–you can never have too many blankets—

though to tell the truth a stack of diapers would be

best of all, and after that a proper cradle,

she might lift his tiny hand for a tiny wave and

perhaps reveal his tiny face for the chorus

of ooos and aaaahs, without letting them

see that all she had to wrap him in was cloth torn

from her clothes, and when he wasn’t in her arms

he slept in a manger on a pile of fresh hay.

After all she’d been through, scorn was not welcome.

© Dana Hughes 1.7.15