Thursday, June 21, 2012

The Family Ghost

The family ghost on the back porch sits

Trying to gather his wandering wits.

All he has is the past and lost;

He tells the tales and counts the cost.

He's cold to the core, and numb as well,

But suffers the heat of the day like Hell.

He can only stay and thirst and think

Of the sweet dark tea he used to drink

When once he had good company.

Now buried or far or gone they be:

In Death, or, as remote, in Life,

Busy with job and child and wife.

The living remember their guest with a start

When they go past him in his world apart.

They would help each other if they could;

It's hard for a ghost to beget any good.

He has no Now, there is only Then,

And Once There Was, and wondering When.

The family ghost gazes wearily West

And waits to be laid at last to rest.

--Bryan Babel, June 2012.