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  • Writer's pictureHil Hoover

dream of ghosts, passing time

I’ve fallen asleep in the graveyard again,

great-grandmother, like when I was a child

and used to visit you, take naps upon your

final resting place,

lay my face down against the grass

and listen for the songs you used to

sing me through the soil as if your

voice might still carry,

as if every day could be Samhain

if I wished hard enough,

any common snack time a feast

for the dead, in my baby goth heart,

you my eternal ghost of Halloween past,

walking hand in hand with the childhood friends

I refused to believe were truly dead,

remembered by nicknames only so I couldn’t

look up their obituaries, could pretend only

your ancient self laid buried under that earth,

and now, I’ve fallen asleep in the graveyard again,

become my own sort of ghost, let my imperfect memory,

my own illness haunt me as a ghost of Halloween present,

the part of me that hovers between life and death

rattling the chains as I wait for some comfort to sing me

to any kind of rest, as the future…

ah, that’s the future,

the future is the best ghost of all, has always

been the best ghost of all, beautiful and brilliant

laughing and twirling and dancing in delight,

refusing to coalesce into any kind of shape

because this isn’t Dickens,

and I don’t believe we have to know

what’s going to happen to make it all right,

can rest in the shifting shadows of it all,

half-here, half-gone, almost hearing the

songs of every lost love that ever passed

through the veil, and laugh, and whisper

into the darkness, welcome home.

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