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WARNING: Stories on this site may contain mature language and situations, and may be inappropriate for readers under the age of 18.

THE LIES PARENTS TELL by Suzanne Reynolds-Alpert
November 2, 2011  Poetry   Tags:   

She’d always said, “monsters aren’t real”
to comfort me when I called in the night.
She’d say,

“Ghosts don’t exist” and she’d
tweak my nose and chuckle and
call me Casper.

(Who is Casper, anyway?)

But now I know parents lie.

I sit in the fearful dark, try to recall
her face; and hush and croon to Johnny.
I say,

“Be still, don’t cry” and call him
baby; even though I’m only ten
and he is eight.

(Monsters are real.)

I’ve seen them storm through churches;
tear babies from their mothers
to snap their fat arms with
red-stained teeth.

How I wish she hadn’t lied, all
those months ago! “Sshhh, Johnny,” I say,
“if they hear you,

they’ll come and eat you.”


Suzanne writes speculative fiction from her little corner of Massachusetts, where she raises two kids, a husband, and two black cats. Her poetry has been published in High Coup Journal, newWitch, Pagan Edge, and Strong Verse. Luna Station Quarterly published her short story, _Essie._ You can find Suzanne lurking on Facebook or at http://suzannereynoldsalpert.blogspot.com/.


  1. Short and sweet and deeply disturbing at the same time, I like it!

    Comment by bong on November 2, 2011 @ 1:13 pm

  2. I’m never quite sure about poetry as its outside my comfort zone, but i just really liked the final image.

    Comment by Pete Bevan on November 2, 2011 @ 3:02 pm

  3. Infinite terror contained in a very small picture. Nicely done.

    Comment by T.J. McFadden on November 2, 2011 @ 4:20 pm

  4. Love this!! Once again, Suzanne’s writing rocks!

    Comment by Nina on November 2, 2011 @ 6:03 pm

  5. Your comments warm my zombie-loving heart. It’s great when people “get” something you’ve written. 🙂

    Comment by Suzanne Reynolds-Alpert on November 2, 2011 @ 7:20 pm

  6. Poetry is not my thing so I rarely comment on it. However, I liked the imagery in this one.

    Comment by BarrettS on November 2, 2011 @ 9:25 pm

  7. Very good, like it!

    Comment by Jeaniest on November 2, 2011 @ 11:20 pm

  8. LOVE!!!! Succinct and creepy, two of my favorite things!

    Comment by Rey Otis on November 4, 2011 @ 7:07 am

  9. LOVE!!!! Succinct and creepy, two of my favorite things!

    Comment by Rey Otis on November 4, 2011 @ 7:07 am

  10. Poetry is not my thing either. I find it hard work reading meanings into things that may not have meanings, or unravelling metaphors that may not exist, but this poem was poetry for the layman.

    All of us were told by our parents that monsters don’t exist. Suzanne I really liked this. It was a nighmare scenerio for children to be in, and you conveyed this nightmare plainly, and very well, in so few words.

    Thanks for this.

    Comment by Kevin F on November 4, 2011 @ 6:44 pm

  11. I agree with some of the others. Zombies and poetry never really seemed to go together for me. But this is good! Captures the fears of children in the wake of an undead apocalypse. Well done!

    Comment by Chris on November 9, 2011 @ 4:15 pm

  12. I LOVE it! A whole new genre of zombie poetry!

    Comment by JacLynn on November 14, 2011 @ 8:43 am

  13. LOVE IT! Monster ARE real!! No doubt!!!!

    Comment by Glenn on December 19, 2011 @ 2:38 pm

  14. wicked (yep, I’m a New Englander, too!) disturbing!

    Comment by SB on February 25, 2012 @ 8:34 am

  15. This poem is excellent, I am using it to share with my english class for my book-talk about the Walking Dead Road to Woodbury.

    Comment by Josh on May 16, 2013 @ 7:32 am

  16. Hi Josh! I’m really thrilled you liked my poem enough to want to share it. If you did indeed do so, I’d love to hear from you how it was received by the class.


    Comment by Suzanne on July 26, 2013 @ 10:30 am

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