“Yes, Ethan, what’s the matter?”
The boy stands, hesitantly,
Back to the door, hand on the knob,
Having just closed it behind him,
An inquiring, uncertain look
Fills his eyes.
“There are ghosts on the TV show.
He is not sure he should admit this.
He is not sure his parents,
Having their own privacy interrupted,
Will offer comfort or admonition.
“It’s okay, Ethan.
There are no such ghosts.
It’s only pretend . . . costumes.”
He is unconvinced.
He has seen the evidence himself.
Right there on TV,
And elsewhere, maybe.
“Oh, maybe they’re gone, now!”
He rushes from the room,
Having received unlikely comfort –
Disinterested, and dismissive –
Yet comfort, nonetheless,
From his parents,
By their mere presence,
And from his ghosts,
By their lack of it.