At night, I hear

Another ghost quadrille for dverse.


At night, when the wind stops and the rain,

I hear ghost breath of something passing,

feel the gentle weight pressing.

Is it you?

Time ticks, weight shifts,

a sigh fades into a distant, silent-padding tunnel.

If it was you,

why can’t you stay?

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.

35 thoughts on “At night, I hear”

  1. If one sees the ghost of a loved one, I can imagine one might want the ghost to stay. If the ghost appeared in the first place, it should be able to stay. Perhaps it would not be convenient to do that for either party.

    1. Grieving does strange things. Perhaps we imagine that the lost one comes back, or hasn’t really gone, perhaps there is really something residual that we sense. It doesn’t matter really, it’s what we feel that counts.

  2. Another poignant poem, Jane. As a reader I have complete sympathy with the first person narrator, can almost hear that ‘ghost breath of something passing’, So effective that description of time passing.

    1. When I wrote this, I was aware that I wouldn’t have written the same way about a dead person. While we are willing to accept that the ghost of an animal has no sinister intent, it isn’t quite the same for human beings. We’re our own worst enemies;

      1. Did you mean the painting I used here? I only found it after I wrote the poem. To me, it kind of looks like footprints leading into the water. For the story I wrote for your microfiction prompt, it was a painting by Olav Johan Andreassen–a group of people holding a body by a lake.

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