The black heart of secretspressed into my young chest
and even a single breath of trust
had to travel miles of agony
to reach enough light to thrive.
When light left my windowsill
nightmares argued at the end
of my bed about which terror
would walk across my dreams.
I remember when the night voices
came to the brave side of my pillow,
and led me where shadows
had pretty colors and kind words.
Imagination tended my wounds
until it grew a name on my tongue
to address the tiny saviors who
lived in the valley of invisible.
Pillowkins, I called them Pillowkins,
dream warriors who giggled me
out of the jaws of a demon.
When nightmares clawed
my eyes into hollow,
my tiny army would
lead me to a place of peace
where the moon didn’t bleed
nor the fox stalk my throat
to see if truth was growing
strong enough to expose lies.
©Susie Clevenger 2019