Bogeyman calling

My boogieman had breath of diseases,
bubonic and crimson it’s creeping
on food and in houses.
I feared the tiptoeing sound were from lice or
my coughing was TB.

I remember how I easily fainted from facts
of how sickness is present on rodents,
or how fever is just a beginning.

When my cousin was dying in cancer
I imagined it crawling inside
just eating intestines and when the
eyes of father were fading, I thought
that my sight would be lost just like his.
I know how it sounds
when bogeyman calls.

The plague by Arnold Böcklin

One of the many bogeymens from my childhood was diseases. I don’t call myself a hypochondriac, but I fear what a terrible plague could be. The worst short story I ever read was the masque of the read death by Poe. Ever since my father got retina detachment I have feared for that, and during the weekend I had my surgery for that. Fortunately technology is so much better nowadays so full recovery is expected, especially since my fear of that bogeyman was strong enough to seek help early enough. Linked to Rommy’s prompt at toads.

April 28, 2017

20 responses to “Bogeyman calling

  1. I think that sickness and disease are the most terrifying facts of life for a child to come to terms with, all the more so because the bogeyman is real.

  2. When I was a teenager I used to worry about the dreaded Big C, thinking any minor complaint was a sign of it. Touch wood, it wasn’t and hasn’t been since.
    Seems the bogeyman did good in that you sought out help soon re retina detachment – I guess our fears keep us on alert. Glad to hear full recovery is expected.
    Anna :o]

  3. This is so poignant, Bjorn. I agree, sickness and diseases are most horrifying when we are children.

  4. Oh Bjorn, how frightening for you, your father having had that before you. I am so glad technology has improved so amazingly, and that you will fully recover. A poet needs his eyes!

  5. A nasty bogeyman indeed! And more realistically scary than most. But the fear has an upside when you seek help in good time.

    You found the perfect image to go with the poem!

  6. sideways comment here – have you ever read Kim Stanley Robinson, The Years of Rice and Salt? An alternative history where the plague wiped out Europe, and history was led by the rest of the world. ~

    • No, but it sounds like a terrific idea… the consequences of the black plague was so different from country to country… I can recommend Kristin Lavransdotter by Sigrid Unset for an account from a Norwegian perspective.

  7. Bjorn, this is so real and tangible… your fear was so much realer than specters under the bed. This really grabbed me.

  8. Really clever, Bjorn. Thanks for letting us know it was real. As a child we have way too many fears. With all the guns and rampant shootings, war atrocities, parents a danger on drug or overloaded with life’s problems, etc., it’s no wonder this younger generation has more fears than the ones before.
    Thanks for peeking in. My yesterday was terribly busy, I did good to post for NaPoWriDayMo but are making rounds this morning and after midnight early today. I’m glad to read yours this morning.

  9. Great write, Björn. Illness is an awful bogeyman for both children and adults. Best wishes on a full recovery.

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