For reasons I cannot quite fathom I have been feeling really tired this past week. Maybe the juggling of three and more projects is catching up with me. I have a list of things I need to attend to today, but I kept slapping the ‘Snooze’ on the alarm. I felt completely flat and out of inspiration for poetry practice. So I was lazily looking at my email, Facebook and finally Twitter. I generally just check in once daily there, but as soon as I opened it there was a post in the feed with a poetry prompt from @UrbanWordNYC…”write a poem addressing how death is the original form of ghosting.” So okay. I have my assignment for the Poetry Daily! Serendipity saves the day! I may have more personal experience of ghosts than social media ghosting, but I can work the metaphor…


Everyone leaves.
At some point I will, too.
I am of an age now -
the autumn of life -
when friends are dropping
from their perches in the trees.

Long dead friends resurrect
in Facebook memories,
speaking from some separate realm,
saying how much they are looking forward
to seeing me soon.

I have no such plans.
Shudder just thinking it.
I ignore them! She is safely dead.
I am alive and reasonably fit.
Getting on with my life
just fine without her presence.

Except absence never grows old,
or disappears. Death has its own half-life
radiating from some pit
just above your diaphragm.

Everyone leaves!
Consider this just a dress rehearsal
in your role of ghost.
It's a practice run
for the really big griefs.

Face it. Every life is lived
by losers.
First its a phone, then house keys.
The BFF. A spouse or three.
Mum. Dad.
They just pile up, those losses,
littering the back of the closet.

It's a regular Halloween party in there.
The great celebration
of all us losers of loves bygone
sipping the juju juice,
making fun of all our ghosts
let out for a day.

Copyright © 2019 Bee Smith. All rights reserved.

3 thoughts on “Ghosting

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