Erl King
The priest in the confessional,
The teacher in the gym:
When the Erl King comes to town,
Where should you look for him?
The cars that park beside the school,
Each in its daily spot:
One might be the Erl King’s car;
How do you know it’s not?
They’re screaming on the notice boards,
They’re screaming on the news:
Erl King Hunts for Someone’s Child! –
Why don’t they tell you whose?
The child who lies, the child who cries,
The child who locks the door,
The child who tiptoes down the stairs:
What are they asking for?
Search the sticky pencil case,
Confiscate the ’phone:
All day long the Early one
Cackles at you, unknown.
Wake up in the dead of night:
Who is it, with the sack?
There he goes, the Erl King,
And your child is on his back.

Ruth S. Baker

If you have any thoughts about this poem, Ruth S. Baker  would be pleased to hear them