ghost stories

[For Tim]

“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.

It’s scary.”

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.

3 thoughts on “ghost stories”

  1. Yes. Good.

    I remember being that kid. I would close my eyes tightly to pretend the light was on on the otherside of my eyelids, fumble my way to the switch and flip it- then open my eyes.


  2. For me? Are there any other Tims you would write poems for? If not, I’m one lucky son-of-a-gun. Thank you, my dear bro, for being someone who so frequently finds beauty worth capturing. What a precious boy, Ethan. And your offering of “disinterested” comfort. Reminds me of love’s “austere offices” (in a poem I like: that little boys, when old enough to articulate it, may realize their fathers worked at even when they were less than enthusiastic…
    Love you.


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