My Ghosts

My Ghosts by Elaine Edwards

are not vaporous shadows
rising from the grave to haunt
with plaintive cries
nor do they arrive
clanking chains and warnings
like Ebenezer’s Marley.

No, they are corporeal
feet firmly planted
outside their Free State farmhouse.
Great-grandpa Edmund
JP, Mayor, Paterfamilias.
Great-grandma Margaret
snowy bun, comfortable bosom.
Only the hint of sorrow in their eyes
tells of graves of baby boys
vanquished by heat and flies.

Squashed between pages
thrust into boxes
their spectral presence
invades my mind.

I have run away for sixty years
my marathon is over.
Turning, I lay my head on
Margaret’s bombazine bosom.


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