Waken from the land of slumber,
Quiet now, my little one;
Tarry not, for fear of thunder,
Hush … our journey has begun.
Grasp me tightly … do not question,
Gather up your teddy bear;
Leave all else without commotion …
Quickly, while he’s unaware.
As the lion sleeps, we’ll travel
Silently into the night;
Hold your tears, lest I unravel,
Giving ‘way our dawn of flight.
Lightly tread upon the hardwood,
Step aside the plank that groans;
Leave behind your barren childhood,
As the roar of darkness moans.
Caution, at the stairwell landing,
Hold your tongue and gather strength,
Listen for the heavy breathing
Rolling down the hallway’s length.
Hurry while the snores of safety,
Rumble back a guarded sound …
Careful as you step discreetly,
Past the bottles on the ground.
Clutch the railing – feel your way through …
Focus on the steps ahead;
Hug the side – I’m right behind you,
Filled with fear and drenched in dread.
Halfway down, the sweat is pouring,
Yet a chill envelopes bone,
Silence has replaced the roaring …
Shhhh … Don’t move … don’t cry … don’t moan.
God, don’t let the beast awaken!
Quiet, darling – do not squirm …
Though it seems we’ve been forsaken …
Pray our faith holds strong and firm.
Silence echoes through the household …
Stillness seems to swallow sounds …
Muted screams of terror take hold,
As a thud upstairs, resounds.
Palms reach up to stifle panic,
Trapped mid-flight upon the stairs;
Thoughts are whirling … minds are frantic,
Goosebumps rise ‘neath downy hairs.
Motionless, like brittle statues,
Rigid in a frozen stance,
Pray the lion’s sleep continues …
This could be the final chance.
Moments drag in anxious worry,
Till an echo fills the hall,
Muffled snores resume the flurry,
Quickly now … no time to stall!
Slow descent in practiced fashion,
‘Tward the door – escape in view;
Gently test the deadbolt’s motion,
Almost there … and almost through.
Suddenly, the clock strikes midnight,
As the doorknob turns in place,
Freedom lies beyond the moonlight,
Exit ‘tward the night’s embrace.
Hurry now, no time for sorrow,
Race into the gracious night;
Cross the city streets to borrow
Refuge from this battered plight.
Sleep, my child, in comfort knowing,
That when you awake, my dear;
Mother’s tears will not be flowing,
From another night of fear.
Left behind are fists of fury,
And a bitter aftertaste …
God will be his judge and jury ……
Gone are we … but not erased.