they do not hover with vague threatening airs
but lord over breathing molten curses
she is so small but wills herself to be tiny,
invisible so the march of terror cannot reach her

hiding in the hollows of mud slick passages inked with blood
she senses their intentions, unearthing all the way to the borderlands of death
grotesque mutations lumbering, slurping as they spew
their low grumbling croaks insinuating into her being

starving and cold, scathed and tattered, she is still scrabbling
searching for the way forward, each movement unbearable
unable to swallow, driven by hate for their foul injustice
huddled in shadows she daydreams of the sanctuary
embroidering another beautiful tale to soothe

child’s imaginarium built atop a hillside of flowered meadows
of dragonfly wings, gemstones, and spiraling turrets
unicorns roam in a sacred grove, fairies flit about their braided manes,
entwining vibrant ribbons and delicate poesies

traversing pure streams water sprays rainbows with each hoof-print
morpho aega butterflies alight on wild rose and woodland strawberry
lilting music arises from the reeds as fuzzy catkins sway
landscape transmutes into painted colors of exquisite beauty

startled from the reverie by the howl of grizzled hunger, stabbing pain
she hasn’t progressed but burrowed further into the crevice
wondering if anything exists beyond this fetid land of warhorses
or is it only the febrile poetry of her mind, spinning fantasies
awaiting an end that mercy may never bestow

This poem will be linked to dVerse Poets Pub prompt honoring Maurice Sendak.