Waiting for the ghost


She chatters loudly,

the woman who dresses her dog in red,

champs and chews the fat

with anyone who’ll listen,

about the state of the world

and her dog that doesn’t want to eat,

just sits and watches, never joining in.

Bored, she says,

and chews and chatters on and on.

Dog sits and watches,

things we cannot see,

looking left and right,

peering into the distance,


She turns to me as I pass,

eyes big, brown and full of wisdom.

It’s coming, they say, so I watch.

Sickness gnaws deep and undisturbed.

She waits for the end,

watches, for the ghost dog,

pale and determined,

undeflected by smells or sticks.

Coming for her,

trotting relentlessly,


on the edge on the field,



Published by

Jane Dougherty

I used to do lots of things I didn't much enjoy. Now I am officially a writer. It's what I always wanted to be.

7 thoughts on “Waiting for the ghost”

  1. interesting use of images and metaphors – there is a quiet dignity to these words – and careful observation 🙂

  2. This is touching. The dog seems so dignified, waiting for the ghost dog.
    (On a lighter note, after he poops, one of my cats always runs like something is chasing him. I say it’s the poop monster that only he can see.)

    1. I think animals know when they’re going to die, and they just wait for it to happen. Jackson used to do the mad running about thing too. We’d always know when he’d done one because he’d burst into the room, tear around as though his tail was on fire and charge off again.

      1. The girls never do it. The funny one digs and digs and digs, and doesn’t stop digging until all the grit is kicked out of the tray, but she never skips about afterwards. Trixie never skips period.

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