My children are as helpless as I,
Though they know not the grim Horsemen that prowl the earth.
Their monsters are still under the bed,
Or in the closet, places where I can shine a light
And feel like a father. A protector.
But the Horsemen have been closing ranks. Drawing nearer.
Their steeds are swifter now. Their faces uglier, more determined.
No father can protect his children without a stronger light.
Which is why I am as helpless as they,
Underneath the covers, reading the last bedtime story
With a light that flickers and grows dim.
Bob Lorentson is an environmental scientist, musician, and author of numerous stories, poems, and two novels. Recent stories and poems have been published or are forthcoming in Sleet, Praxis, Better Than Starbucks, Leaves of Ink, Parody, and Quinnehtukqut. He lives in rural Connecticut with his wife, two sons, and two rescue animals.