A Bedtime Story - Poem by Orlando Belo
I had been reading in my bed for about an hour
when a sweet smell wafted in, which suddenly turned sour.
I got out of bed and opened the window a touch more,
which seemed to cause a draft that slammed shut the door.
I reopened the door much wider this time and returned to my bed.
a draught blew the pages of my book losing the place to where I had read.
The room temperature dropped so I again got out of bed and closed the door,
then closed the window slightly, but it was still cold so I closed it some more.
Goose bumps formed along my arms as I got back into bed.
Then I tried to find the last page that I had earlier read.
It was warmer now, but I still pulled the covers up to my chest;
I found my page and soon settled down with renewed interest.
My thoughts returned to the room's atmosphere feeling so strange,
the coming of the sweet smell and sudden temperature change.
The top of my vision caught a movement at the foot of the bed,
someone was standing there so I immediately lifted my head.
The hairs on the back of my neck stiffened and sent a shiver down my spine,
for a second I was speechless; this person was transparent but had an outline.
Motionless he stood there with his face towards the floor with nothing to say.
His thin body sagged wearing a worn out coat that had seen far better days.
"Who are you and what do you want here? " I nervously said.
He stared at me as though I wasn't there after he slowly raised his head.
His tired eyes and grey gaunt face seemed to see far beyond my body,
so I turned around, but there was only the bedroom wall behind me.
"Why don't you answer me, are you deaf or can't you speak? "
Then with a voice that was deep and certainly not meek
said, "Oh yes I can speak but only when it suits me to,
but what makes you think that I want to speak with you? "
"Well, you came uninvited into my bedroom and startled me,
you must have come for a reason, to me that's plain to see."
"You do not mean anything to me; I did not even notice you
until you broke my spiritual flow, like all you living do.
You living do not realise that we spirits just go with the flow
around the dead space of time, just as the four winds blow.
We did not ask to be abandoned in this lifeless space forever more,
trapped in this world of forgotten spirits behind heaven's door.
And do not ask me how I got here because I do not know.
I never harmed a living soul when I was alive and that is truly so.
I must admit that some of the spirits here have become evil and sour,
and just like those that live, insanity becomes worse by the hour.
When we see the living, it reminds us of how it was when we were there,
but from here we also see the worst of life and the many who do not care.
It is possible that in the future you could end up here in this unearthly space,
and if you do I will still be here to see you wearing my kind of face."
As I was just about to ask a question he quickly faded out of sight,
the smell and coldness went with him out into the summer night.
I cannot expect anyone to believe me, but I know what I saw is true,
and maybe one day soon a similar experience might happen to you.
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