A CHILD OF NIGHT
by Richard E. Noble
The rain rushes and sparkles, in streaks past the bright, white street light globe.
Within its light, all is bright, and knowing and clean.
But beyond its gleam, all is dead, and black and red, and nothing is what it seems.
It wouldn’t be so bad, and he wouldn’t be so sad,
if it weren’t for the night, and the fright of the Devil by night.
Beyond every crack, and below every track,
it’s the Devil, THE DEVIL! the Devil ... He’s back.
And God doesn’t care because He’s combing His hair and fixing His gowns,
and counting the jewels that the angels have found.
So what can be done, but to run and to run, to cry and to scream
and to hide in the light of each street light beam.
If he had a friend, or maybe a dog, who would bark and would bite,
and maybe grab onto the tail of the Devil by night;
and fight, and bite, and grab onto the tail of the Devil by night,
he could make his way from beam to beam,
and run in the shade
that the rain drops made,
and get to the bakery for the bread and the buns, and the rolls with the creams,
and escape the evil of his devilish dreams.
But instead, he would have to go it alone, and deal with the dread
and the black and the red
and the bodies of all those who have ever been dead.
He longed as he ran and leaped from fright
over cracks and potholes in the street that night,
to see the ovens and the heat and the glow from the baker’s light;
like a halo at night, shining bright,
what a wondrous sight all powdery white,
with sugars and creams
and all the love and warmth of the street light beams.
Under his jacket, he would put his bread,
and with his hat he’d cover his head.
Then off he would go, into the rain and the snow
pushing and shoving for that street light glow,
and when he’d get home, he’d be safe and sound,
and all the Devils would be back in the ground,
and the cracks and the trees, and the shadows and the breeze,
and the rain and the fright,
and the hooting owls of night,
and the tears and the cold,
and the demons so bold,
with their braces of gold,
and their teeth of mold,
and the gurgling pipes,
and the sewers and snipes,
and the black and the red,
and all that's been dead,
and the buildings that sway,
and the noises that prey,
and the shadows that grow,
and the heels that click,
and the boots that clomp,
and the doors that bang,
and the signs that rattle,
and the night that fights against all that is right
… will be gone,
And he’ll be home and ready for bed.
And dear God, he’ll say, I made this day,
and I hope You’ll remember, the tears and the fears
and the years upon years, that you howled in my ears,
and that you won’t delight,
in the ghoul and the horror, and the evil of might
to take pleasure in the tears and the fright of a child of night.