Day 201: Jumper Pillow Dad

Jumper Pillow Dad
Matt Zurbo


Joel was a good kid,
or so most everybody said.
(Kid, puffy, exhausted eyes, looking at reader.)

But each night he had a problem:
the nightmares in his head.
(Kid, in PJs, holding teddy, looking at bed with waiting monsters under it.)

Joel could not escape them,
neither hide or run.
(Kid, sleeping, stressed face. Top of head a trap door, with tentacles coming out of it, dragging a smaller version of himself in.)

The only time they paused,
was when he yelled; “Mum! Mum!”
(Kid sitting upright, screaming. Monsters all fleeing. Some are obvious, others are bullies with fox masks on, one is feeing on a pushbike, another is juggling etc…)

(Kid, in PJs, exhausted, looking at Mum and Dad, exhausted, also in PJs.)

No-one could go on like this,
but Dad had an idea.
(Dad piggybacking kid to messy set of draws. One, half open, has jumper handing out.)

“Put this on your pillow,” he softly said.
“It will help you with your fears.”
(Dad giving kid his jumper, Kid is clutching pillow.)

The jumper smelt like Dad,
which wasn’t very nice,
(Kid wincing as he smells jumper.)
and felt like his chest did,
when they hugged each other tight.

When Joel next went to sleep,
Jumper Pillow Dad was there,
(Joel’s face, sleeping. Small version of Joel, and Dad standing in top of head. Dad is in Knight’s armour, wearing his jumper over it.)

to face down Joel’s nightmares,
with a loving father’s stare.
(Dad, comical action pose, staring at confused monsters.)

“No!” the ghoulies raged.
“We’ll fight you to the end!”
(Kid hiding behind Jumper Dad, who’s hand is thoughtfully on his chin, while monsters rand and rave towering above them.)

But Jumper Pillow Dad
was there to defend.
(Dad, knight’s gear and jumper still on, behind the biggest dream drum kit you’ve ever seen.)

Not one for violence,
he bashed out a cool beat.
(Double page spread of Jumper Dad playing drums, monsters, and Joel all dancing. One paying sax.)
Before Joel knew it,
his nightmares met defeat.

One-by-one Jumper Pillow Dad,
gave each beast one of his friendly hugs.
(Some monsters looking baffled, others smiling, as they queue up for a warm hug from Jumper Dad. The monster Dad is hugging, is smiling/dissipating. Dream Joel is behind Dad, watching.)

While Joel safely slept,
like bug in a rug.
(Kid’s sleeping head, propped up by jumper pillow. Content expression on face, as small monsters climb down and away. Jumper Dad and kid standing in top of head, waving them good-bye.)

By day Joel now looked
at his Dad with new awe.
(Kid looking up at Dad, who is doing dishes. But Kid thinking an image of Dad, chest out, with jumper in a stick, like a flag.)

A slayer of his fears,
with a jumper from his draw.
(Back of kid, who, wide awake, and happy, is skipping/jumping, off to the right, throwing teddy bear to himself in fun.)


Matt Zurbo


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