Elster Creek: Dark View | Allan Lake | Poetry



My partner is afraid of bats

in a world where anti-vax fanatics

deny the existence of a pandemic

as people drop in all directions.

She fears that a bat will latch

onto her neck and sip her blood

in a country where major banks –

like casinos – massage the trusting

in order to siphon their savings.


I’ve never met anyone who was attacked

by a bat and neither has she. Yet images

of bats tangled in long curly locks, blood-

thirsty bats gorging themselves on warm

human blood take flight from a dark cave

in her mind every time we walk along

that maligned little artery.

Fear methed-up teenagers, lone wolves

who prey on Little Reds, drunks who

punch. Fear any men who stare.

Until capture, a rapist frequented this

unlit path. Still, she fears bats, cringes

at the slightest possibility of bat attack

when she hears their cries, hears flap-

ping of those leather wings, sees their

unholy shapes against moonlit sky.


Pleads: Just tell me it’s an owl. No,

it’s a bat, one of Nature’s miraculous

creations that feeds on mosquitoes and

fruit and acquired a rotten reputation

because some Gothic fantasist couldn’t

keep his hand off his pen. More recently,

we can thank those who devour our virus-

ridden cousins. We talk to fill the

silence, we talk about other dark things

and our habitat as we walk the gauntlet.

She keeps hood up, mask on.


Photo by Jez Timms on Unsplash


Allan Lake is a migrant poet from Allover, Canada who now lives in Allover, Australia. Coincidence. His latest chapbook of poems, entitled ‘My Photos of Sicily’, was published

by Ginninderra Press. It contains no photos, only poems.

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