The Footman’s Intent

She saw the footman

standing next to the house

to its right

bearing a lantern

to guide the traveler at night.

I don’t like it,

she told me as I laid her to bed.

I wondered what went on

in my six-year old’s head.

Why be frightened, my dear?

What is it that causes this fear

of an object so innocent,

so mundane?

Why did dark thoughts

dance through her brain?

I drove past that statue again

one night alone

and I saw what she saw

under the light of the full moon-

a lurking thing beside that home

a thing of the past, a relic

left in the weeds to roam,

its body bent forwards

ready to creep towards the house.

To do what?

To sneak in

silent, like a mouse?

So small and quiet

in a place where it did not belong.

I thought-that thing, if possessed, would be strong.

Yes, now I understood

what my child’s eyes had seen.

In the light of the moon

from that statue did gleam

something wicked

with a sinister intent

standing silently beside the house

ready and bent.



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