My Greatest Accomplishment

by Matthew Byrne

It began in the living room.
An orange, overgrown puppet
would say “You have ten seconds
to get to your parents’ room.”
Trying to run was like wading
through molasses. Trying
to scream yielded only a whisper.
I felt his grimace on my back.
I’d wake just before he counted
to ten, drenched in sweat,
clenching the blanket,
shouting for my mother.
One night I decided I’d had enough.
He started in but I dragged him
by the throat to the bathroom,
and flushed him down the toilet.
That was that for years, until
one night he paid his last visit.
He stabbed me with a rubber knife,
and we laughed like two old pals.