There are monsters in the closet
The little girl cries
You soothed her with promises
To comfort her puerile fears
The mother can’t see
The way the little girl sees
All the reassurances
Sidestep the pictures she holds
In her trembling heart
There are no monsters
Just go to sleep
The sandman is coming
He wants you to sleep
The little girl doesn’t know
The sandman
The door slowly closes
Stealing the light
With every heart beat
Marking a step closer
Hurry dreams, hurry
Take the hand
Of the quaking little girl
Needing safety
Needing tenderness
Instead accorded
Fanciful promises
Of love and protection

And the little girl grew up
Masks of laughter and happy faces
She learned from you
That this is the way
To play pretend
It never happened
The little girl woman
Her smile, a veil, her first
Her most sacred
Her only asylum
Enshrined through childhood
In the closet
Frayed, tattered, used
More than any little girl should
Strings unraveling
Tear stained fabric
Don’t worry
There are more
She began sewing, weaving
Fresh, shining smiles
Strong and adept
Built to survive
Storms long passed
Constructed to combat
Storms imminent
For lasting cover
Hanging in the closet
At the ready

The show must go on
You will need them
Each day
You step out the door
You put on your face
Behind the veil, unsightly
Careful, walk tall
Don’t let anyone see
Curtains shut tight
Covering scars
From the little girl crying
Mommy, where are you going
Don’t leave me
Alone with the monsters
Sweet little girl
Apple of my eye
You say the right words
But your act is a lie
You are one too

The little girl woman begs
Screaming to be heard
Her pleas still dismissed
The little girl woman endures
There is no other way
The monsters came with her
There is no other way
Don’t open the closet
You don’t want to see
Behind the shrouded smile
Of the little girl woman
The monsters are real
The monster is me

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