☛ Submission for October, 2024 issue (Vol. 5, No. 2) is going on. The last date for submission is 30 September, 2024.

The Slayer - Geoffrey Philp (Jamaica)



for anna

-         Geoffrey Philp (Jamaica)


On nights when my daughter awakens

from her nightmare about the monster

in our backyard, I comfort her by saying,

“It’s only a dream, darling.” “But I can hear

him, Dad, growling at our back door,

scratching windows in the kitchen,

and I’m afraid one day he will kill you

and take mom.” Sometimes, before I limp

back to my room, listening to the rise

and fall of her breaths, I laugh as I tuck her

under the covers. But most of the time, I lie

to keep her childhood memory of safety alive,

so that on a morning when I’m no longer

home, and she wanders into the backyard,

searching for herself, and stares into bloodshot

eyes, her breath won’t be as shallow, nor her hands

as shaky, and pray that she will forgive me.