Misgivings - Poem by Diane Hine
Misgivings assembled in the bedroom every night.
They were obscene but had no form.
Mr Jones woke up and waited for the morning
photon squad to disassemble them.
One night, a misgiving mutated into a monster.
The photons delivered the bad news to Mr Jones.
The monster was sitting cross-legged on the end of
the bed, carving graffiti into the walnut footboard.
Mr Jones kicked his feet.
Feathers erupted from holes in the paisley eiderdown.
The monster cooed, flapping its hands in the flurry.
Mr Jones' feet began to cool.
The monster took up permanent residence.
Mr Jones bought an electric blanket.
A year passed, two. Eventually
a second misgiving materialized into a monster.
This one squatted above the window on the pelmet
and pissed, darkening the pencil-pleated drapery.
Mr Jones was affronted.
The monster stifled a giggle, but carried on pissing.
It too took up permanent residence.
Mr Jones bought air freshener.
Several months passed.
Mr Jones attempted to control his misgivings.
Of course that didn't work.
The cheval mirror's swivel hinge began to squeak.
Mr Jones applied oil.
The oil stained the palmette-patterned rug.
The squeak became more insistent until
Mr Jones understood. A misgiving had slipped into
the envelope of air between glass and wood
and metamorphosed into a third monster.
It began scraping away layered silver and became
visible by degrees through crosshatched clear glass.
Mr Jones had never imagined anything so ugly.
Noticing Mr Jones, the monster pulled a monster face
and squashed it against the glass
but since it was already maximally gross
the result was, if anything, an improvement.
It was a good joke.
The other monsters laughed.
Mr Jones was glad they all had a sense of humour.
It made them easier to live with.
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