|Acrylic on Cardboard|
The child awaking, when the fire is
Weak as a jelly and barely warm,
Calls, but sees in its parent’s iris
Equal alarm, and so begins to cry
For solider reassurance than a worried eye.
And finds, since sympathy only shelves
Skeletons into cupboards deeper
And comforters talk to cure themselves,
The waker must walk as alone as the sleeper;
Pains are not charmed by visitors in furs,
Nor devils conjured out by passionate amateurs.
– Nightmare by James Michie (1954). From the Times Literary Supplement archives.