After The Ghost Investigation
The local writer on the paranormal with her camera,
electromagnetic meter, and infared thermometer,
having stayed, as she explained she must, long past sunset,
came back downstairs egg white-wan, silent. Her colleague,
with his day job in law enforcement, looked lost as the ring
of brown feathers left after a cat runs into the bushes.
You have them. We found you two. In the room across from
our bedroom, in the room behind my office. Her voice might
have been shaking. Just old spirits who don’t care to leave.
Not harmful. The one upstairs doesn’t know he’s dead.
I offered brandy, which no one wanted. Later, alone, or
perhaps not, my husband and I went to bed and addressed
our new-found guests: How are you, Mr. Ghost? No–that’s
disrespectful! No–you can’t really believe… When I turned off
our bedside lamp, darkness I’d once understood occupied itself
fully as it grew larger and larger–a black bloodstain, a backwards
mirror glinting what sorrow? A distant headlight? Or just
the flickerings ghosts know, caught here if they are here, never
driving away. These walls, see how they’ve changed from
what they used to be? Our bodies, too: how they change without
our permission! And see how long, how very long night lasts?
Editor’s Note: This poem at first seems lighthearted, but the ominous dread of the investigating characters slowly bleeds into the living hosts of the ghosts’ house.