By Elaine Knudtson
There’s a monster behind that door.
Shhhhhh. . .
I can see light creeping underneath like the tongue of a snake ready to strike.
It’s too quiet.
He’s waiting for a chance to pounce when my back is turned.
Don’t walk too close.
Back away slowly; maybe he won’t hear me or smell my fear.
My breath is shallow, my heart pounds, my mind races:
What if. . .
- What if I can’t complete my quest?
- What if I fail the test?
- What if I throw up or stop breathing, or faint?
- What if he has friends waiting behind other doors to join him when he whistles?
I’m trapped by the monster behind the door.
Why don’t I knock and ask his name?
If I name him, he’s real.
If I ignore him, he might disappear,
Or I could distract myself.
I could solve a puzzle,
- or run a few laps
- or check my phone
- or plan a party
- or play the piano
- or listen to a story.
If only the monster wasn’t there.
Can you rescue me?
“Whatsoever things are good, and beautiful and pure; think on these things.”
- I might see another sunrise
- I might dance in the waves
- I might pray with friends
- I might cry when the choir sings
- I might rest when you hold me
- I might live again.
Has the snake lost his head?
The tongue has exploded into a ribbon of light,
pointing me away from the monster,
towards the peace that passes understanding.