The ghosts I always imagine
are too distracted to get to haunting.
Absently snagging on splinters,
in and out of a hundred
closets and narrow halls,
counting each paint flake,
noting each new ceiling stain,
resigned to finding the portraits
of those they loved hanging crooked
or fallen from the wall.

And at dusk, crowded around
every window, rapt,
as the mansion shadow stretched
across the broad lawn
and took the tool shed,
its door only on one hinge
letting in any thieving wind
that wandered by.

The clank of abandoned
shovel and scythe
hung from leather cords
on ancient nails, the only music
my ghosts still hear.

They listen as it calls rust
from heavy August air.


Published in Typehouse Literary Magazine (Volume 6, No. 3, Issue 18)