F.3 Poem - Boys
Dracula    by Jackie Kay

After we’d climbed the many roads for Efori Nord
by bus past Bucharest, the capital of Romania.
I was dog tired. We went to a mountain room of pine,

and I searched the cupboards before I fell asleep.
That night I heard this weird flapping
at the window and woke up scared to death.

There, on the verandah, was a figure in black.
Casting no shadow. My hand instinctively flew
to my neck. Count Dracula was born here.

The cotton sheets were soaking with my sweat.
I could see his eyes flashing as he bent down;
imagine two small sinister holes in my skin.

If only we had stayed in Efori Nord,
Playing ping-pong till kingdom come.
If only we hadn’t come to the mountains.

I crawled along the pine floor to my father’s bed.
It was empty. Just a white pillow and a headrest.
My dad gave a loud guffaw from the balcony.

Took off his black cape; threw back his head,
Said, ‘Got you going there, didn’t I?
Okay. The joke’s over. Back to your bed.’

Can you believe that? All I am asking is:
who needs an imagination, a fear, or a dread,
when what we’ve got is parents instead?