In Motion: Bellingham, Poetry, San Juan Islands, Ted Talks

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Thursday, September 13, 2012

Poetry: Ghost in the Hall



When I was a child
A Skeleton Ghost would walk
The bedroom hall of our home

Afraid of the dark I would sleep with the light on
My door open just enough to keep out the trouble
That lurks in the imagination of a ten year old,
Usually, hiding under the bed or in closets

Ghosts are everywhere when you are ten.

Often the ghost would wiggle its way past my door
Steps heard creaking across loose boards
Creak.  Creak.  Creak.
Down the hall slowly it walked

Skeleton heading for the kitchen
To fill up its ribs with mom’s pork chops
Then fiddle its way back to bed
After the meal was consumed

One scary night before this mystery was solved
I slept between my parents for protection

Bookends of adult and authority on either side
Defense from anything ghoulish
Each parent rolled over facing the walls
As I lay blinking at the ceiling.

2 a.m. is Skeleton’s supper time

Down it came toward my parents’ room
Closer.  Closer.  Closer.

Bones walk lightly when there is no moon

From the ceiling my eyes followed
To see what stood at the foot of the bed

Its frame wiggled trying to materialize
To grab hold of me with solid hands
  
I knew it was real
The ghost that walked my hall at night!

Dad sighed in his sleep
And the ghost misted away. 
Scared off by the possibility of his waking
I waited.  Waited.  Waited.

It did not come back.

Then I returned to my own bed
Safer now with mystery solved
Wrapped in the comfort of knowing
Skeleton was real and it knew I could see it!


...true story

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