Yes it’s true ~
i grew up with warm starlit nights
at the edge of the forest.
And then at a young age
i learned the truth ~
darkness was scary and lonely.
in the coldness of unlit night
i lay in my bed
with the covers drawn up
and considered the possibilities
of the waving shadows
on the wall.
And i knew
of the unseen power
of the shapes of doom
as contorted fingers reached out
to pull me away.
I know, i know ~
there is nothing to be afraid of
i’d been assured.
But no one was there
to protect and prevent me
from disappearing into the night
never to be heard of again.
And as i got older
i walked the long and lonely
through the center of the forest,
and amid the blinding beauty of childhood ~
among the leaves, the trees
and the fleeting shadows,
i felt very alone and left to linger
in the silence.
As darkness fell
and the optimism of the day faded
i was simply left with the fear,
uncertainty and aloneness
that darkness brought.
I promised myself
tomorrow would be different ~
i would not be afraid..
but that tonight
i would run toward the light
as fast as i could ~
hoping just once
to outrun my fears
And as the cars approached
in the distance
i ran as fast as I could ~
chasing the comfort of light
until the last possible minute.
As the car came close,
i leapt over the railing and into the darkness
of the bushes and trees,
and waited in silence until the car had past.
And as the onrushing light closed in
i witnessed the growling bear
gnashing its teeth,
and sometimes i saw a fiery dragon
shooting flames into the distance
destroying everything living thing
in its path.
Meanwhile i was busy in the bushes
fiercely whacking wild growling dawgs
and poisonous snakes over the head
with a wooden mallet.
And i would stop in the midst of my battle
and look up at the last minute,
to see the bear or the dragon
as the lights went by.
i simply saw a family
on their way home for dinner.
As soon as the car went by
i leapt out of the bushes
and again ran as fast as i could,
chasing the comfort of the light
until at last
as the light faded into the distance,
i slowed to a walk
and breathed in the silence.
And as i looked around
i realized i was surrounded
by brightly flashing pairs
of pulsating eyes ~
and the heavy breathing
of animals in the night.
And yet as i cowered in fear,
and stood frozen in silence
i began to realize
that yah ~ i couldn’t see anything,
but in darkness no one could see me either ~
i was invisible
until I stepped into the light.
And in the silence and solitude I understood,
darkness would be my friend.
And as i walked by
the row of the now occasional houses
that lay at the edge of the forest,
i lingered as i looked in
at the happy people sharing
the closeness of a family meal.
And veiled in the darkness
i realized for the first time ~
i was the hunter, and not the hunted
as i walked on into the silence
of the dead of night.