Icky the Fire Bobby

In the land of thingamabob and wotsit,
Icky was my bogeyman, the specter
who'd grab me if I didn't get to bed,
if I didn't eat my peas or mashed spuds.

He haunted pantry, clothes cupboard,
made plans in the dark to terrify,
a mean older brother, a hairy policeman
with hatchet and tall bobby's helmet.

I trembled in bed waiting for his bullseye
lantern to single me out, to haul me off
to the coal bunker for punishment with all
the other bad, sobbing little buggers.

Christopher T. George