This is a house of ghosts,
Moonlight painting their shadows on the walls.
That one, just above the picture rail
Eats spiders; blows moths out of windows.
The other one lounges on top of the skirting board,
Playing a long game of patience,
Totting up my birthdays,
Sending mean, sidelong glances, warning me
Not to knock the wood with the heel of my shoe,
Otherwise, what birthdays I have left, will all come together.
Sometimes, these shadows go too far,
Peering round the doors of whichever room I am in.
Curious to see what I am doing,
Keeping an eye on me,
Their narrow yellow eyes gleeful when they catch me
planning a future.
I don’t know who these shadows are.
If only I knew their names
I could gather them all together,
Push them into the late-flowering dahlias,
And lock the door behind them.
For as long as they are here,
They are impatient for me to join them.
© 2019 Gwen Grant