“The Boogeyman” by Dee Allen

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The Boogeyman

by Dee Allen

As lousy as
Some of my
Early childhood was,
I had never
Feared the dark.
Come thirteen,
Onset of puberty,
A frightening age,
Like other youngsters,
I dreaded
Running into
Some child killer,
As mentioned
On the news,

Or the boogeyman,
Coming straight from
Out of darkness,
Charging at me,
Little skinny me with my
Sun-darkened skin,
Unspeakable cruelty
On his agenda—–

He never crawled
Out of closets,
From under beds.
Somebody gotten those
Little details wrong.
I’ve learned
To avoid

The woods,
Lightless roads
At night
Where he
His numbers
May lurk.
Adults & children
Among my
Dusky people

In the South
Feared the twilight threat,
Terror-filling remnant
From the bad old
Days before I was born,
Real as you and me:
Phantom in white

White hood,
White robe,
Brandishing a blazing
Cross in one hand,
A loaded pistol
In the other—–

Dee Allen is an African-Italian performance poet currently based in Oakland, California. Allen is author of 3 books (Boneyard, Unwritten Law and Stormwater) and 14 anthology appearances (Poets 11: 2014, Rise and Your Golden Sun Still Shines, to name a few). Dee Allen is a former Political Science major at CCSF (2004-2010). Allen’s work appeared in Forum (Fall 2007).

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