We looked out from our glass domes,
china doll children too scared to breathe,
too afraid to mist the images we were meant to portray.
After all, we were yours, lucky to be part of your world.
You owned our thoughts,
locked our memories into yours.

There were times when you released our minds,
allowed us to speak without script, play without fear.
You were our audience; you listened to our chatter,
the carelessness of youth.
Our imaginations unwound like the springs on fast clocks.
We were among the visible, believing our own existence.

But your barbed wire tongue soon drew blood from our eyes.
Your fists tortured our confidence, littering our bodies
with anger. Afterwards, you cupped and blew into
your hands, and the demons were gone. Bedtime, you kissed us,
‘Good Night, God Bless’, nailing our fears to your shadow,
borrowing the light from a dead moon.

 Rowland Hughes ©