• One TwentyOne

A Child’s Champion - First Place

By Ronae Redwine


Devin Lightner


When you’re still too small

to reach the highest shelf,

you must wear a brave face.


Fears are not grounded in loans

or loneliness.

And what frightens you

has less to do

with wondering what is your place in the world,

and more with just trying to understand the world

Emotions run so high,

that confusion borders on terror.

Too young to understand the terrors,

so you change it.

Rework it.

Mold it.

Into a creature,

Brooding.

Threatening.

Massive in size.

Massive in threat.

That slinks through the shadows,

only visible from the corner of your eye.

Able to drag you into midnight black abyss

because your hand happens to dangle off the edge of the bed.


But somehow,

despite this world of never ending fears that would make even King quake,

and feelings that cannot be put into words

so they are released as frustrated sobs.

These feelings lost

to those who can reach the high shelves.


Fears are silenced with a whispered hush.

A protector made from plush.

Soothing you while you sleep.

Fighting the beast

that lives in the shadows


Fighting your fight.

Fighting those fears.

A best friend and a champion.

Until you’re old enough to know

the shadows hold nothing.

And your fears were nothing

more than a child’s imagination.

And since you’ve retired the sobs

you retire the hero.

Where he remains in all his glory on the highest shelf.

Tattered, worn, signs of age show

from all those nights

standing toe to toe

keeping the beast at bay.


From being held a little too tight

when there was nothing else to hold on to.

Too beloved to throw away

but too childish to hold dear


Still he watches over you.

Your champion

Your hero.

Your teddy bear.

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