It Starts At An Early Age

Boxes And Beds

I saw this picture,
Just the other day.
And I reacted
In my own,

On the left side of the picture
I saw a stick figure.
It’s head in a small box.
And every single bit of it
Was in a bigger box.

As it was inside that box,
It was safe from all harm.

On the right side of the picture
I saw another figure.
It’s head in a small box.
Every single bit of it
Was in a bigger box.
Except of one
Of it’s hands.
That went outside the box.

As it was outside the box,
It was in extreme danger.
It could be hurt.
It could feel pain.
It could run into
The unknown.
Time and time again.

When I saw the picture,
I chose to remain silent.
And not say what I’d seen.
I chose to wait.
And see what other
People said.

And speak they did.
About how this was a picture
Of what they learned
As a child.
That when you went to sleep at night,
If you kept every part of you
Within the confines of the top
Of the mattress of the bed.

The monsters that lived
Underneath the bed,
And came out after dark,
Couldn’t reach you.
And you’d be safe to sleep
All night.

But if you should
Hang any part of you
Of the edge of the bed.
The monsters of the night
Could reach up
And grab it.
And soon.
You would be dead.

And I spent several days
Why this made my heart
Ache so very much
Within my chest.
Why my soul
Cried tears of pain
Every time I thought
Of this little
Piece of art.
As simple as it was.

Until today.
When it all snapped into place
In my little mind.
And I understood
That what I’d seen
When I’d seen the picture
Was absolutely right.

And the story
Of monsters in the night
Was another way
Of saying the same thing
To a child
At night.

And my heart aches
When I think of this.
And my soul cries
Tears of pain.
When I realized
How very many people
Teach their children
What they know.
And what they’ve learned.

There’s no difference
Between the bed
And the box.
Because so long
As you stay within the confines
Of either one of them.

You’re safe.
And secure.
And no harm will come to you.

But if you venture past
The lines of either one.
You put yourself at risk
Of being hurt.
By something that’s unknown.
And not controlled.

And it makes me sad to know
How many people
Around me,
And in this world
I never made.

Can’t see the way they learned
From a very early age
To stay in the box of life.
Where it’s safe.

And never question anything.
Anything at all.


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