Lantern Men

 

My grandmothers warned me

never to leave my window open at night.

 

Now my room is shape-shifted by creatures,

the half-light filled with their secrets.

 

Their words become drunk incantations

to bulrushes and reed beds.

 

Come morning, they vanish so fast,

they leave toothed shadows on the wall.

 

I should learn the art of stilt-walking

to step over the menace lurking in their fog.

 

But I am snug, wintered down like an eel

in the moment before it tries to flee the fyke.

 

I close the shutters to prevent their whispers

unfurling over the sleeping village

 

like a fen on a November night.