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Common Pipistrelle by Karen Lockney

After her bedtime book
she asks me,
‘Mummy, what’s that?’

A bat, silent as the dark
sounding of nothing
cuts through the room

dragging the night sky
and all the bad shadows
from our stories in its wake.

I imagine I hear its ancient screech,
a taunt directed at me.
‘Let her watch you,’ it cries
‘She wants you to make this all stop.’