What Were You Scared Of As A Child?

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My mother barely let me watch television
and then only educational stuff like Sesame Street
that couldn’t possibly damage my young mind.
As a result, I had waking nightmares
that Cookie Monster was climbing out
of the TV set shouting ‘Cookies, Cookies’
and trying to shove me into the blue furriness
of his open mouth with the crumbs falling out.
The thought of those crumbs still makes me
feel slightly queasy. Fear is what we make of it.

When you were little, your mother pulled
the cushions off your eyes because
she was determined to demonstrate
that you were being ridiculous and there was
nothing remotely creepy about ET.
Everybody’s favourite Extra Terrestrial.
By twenty two, you completely agreed with her
and sat down to watch it again thinking
it was about time you got over this.
But the moment the ball rolled into the bushes,
you broke out in…

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