being a Poetics ("Nightmare") prompt by Stu McPherson.
I saw the sacred waterfall when I was young
hidden behind lush greenery:
rushes from below, creepers from above -
and best of all for most exciting,
thick, overhanging trees.
The water stretched itself
across protruding rocks
like shirts of poorer quality
laid out to dry - or maybe not,
for some there were who said my "shirts"
were souls distressed,
their bodies gone -
some washed away,
some turned by salt to stone.
The wind would come
to calm their fears,
but all they'd do was moan.
But that was then and this is now,
and that was in
a lonely, wooded place
and this is where
I have no right to be
this late at night:
my parents' bedroom
with my mother's parents
in the ancient bed - appearing dead,
each with a lily laid across.
is where the wardrobe used to be.
Beside it, drinking from its waters, stand
two horse, purest white. I know,
the way you know things in a dream,
they are my parents.
Proof positive: they wink at me.
Last thing I know: the shirts are filling out,
are taking roughly human shapes,
collecting rocks and sticks
and will come after me.
They wave them threateningly.
I turn to run,
but feel my body falling through the air.
I wake up on the floor.
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