A Route Obscure and Lonely
by LindaAnn LoSchiavo
With measured strokes, I brushed defiant hair,
Cascading waves that cancer left untouched.
You’d had enough of hospitals, that lack
Of privacy, imagining your home
Serene, secure, free from intrusive pests.
It would shock you to learn we’re not alone.
At dawn, the presence by the sills crispens,
Emerges as the drapes inhale into
A phantom shape. Infernal company,
Omniscient brakeman, timer in cold hands,
Poised, waiting, exhalations nearly through.
Lost in the territory of morphine,
Deciding to eject your breathing tubes,
You tossed away the life-saving device.
Asleep, I’m unaware — — till ghost commands
Arouse me full awake. There’s no choice but
To go rescue you, reconnect the air.
Long shadows darken the stairs, that peek-a-boo
Behind the hooded cloak. I startle you,
Attaching oxygen’s feed properly,
Removing you tonight from danger’s ledge.
A grimace rises from the bedding’s edge
As if to say, “Not now! I’ll tell you when.”
The Voice Ghost
Depictions — — movies, books — — deceive, confuse
The living. Voice ghosts don’t wear clothes, don’t need
To manifest because they’re audible.
Invisible sopranos / tenors, words
Always distinct, their message is compressed.
Existing outside time, unfazed by light,
Speaking when least expected, they’re not thanked
For loud commands that got you to safety.
Recalling the specifics, all alone
You were when sudden danger shadowed life.
Forewarned! Escaped in time! Miraculous!
Are voice ghosts guardians? Are they instincts
Awakened? Metaphors for the divine?
Perhaps this energy is what survives
Of love beyond — — though incorporeal — —
Its wise eyes moving of its own accord.
Poe and His Women
Ligeia, Annabel Lee, and Berenice,
Supernal beauties, pleasing to the eye,
Were temporary mates and marble-cheeked
Like timeless funerary monuments.
Tremaine’s Rowena, Lady Madeline,
Insidiously felled and pushed offstage,
Had met goth’s Mister Goodbar on the page.
First, females got top billed — — then burying.
What makes an author kill his heroines?
Recognizing a women’s grave could be
His open throat, death-bed vows memorized,
Poe’s pen despaired of daylight’s finitude.
Clocks ticking, wasted time, reminded him
The coffin waits and pages lie half done
In desolation. Anonymity’s
Curse frightens writers more than Roderick
Encountering his sister’s open crypt.
Unholy was the hesitation left behind,
His desk in disarray, the inkwell filled,
Quills conjured up another sinister
Enchantress. Edgar’s poised to start again.
~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~
Wapshott Press is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit and could use your help to keep publishing books like this one. Online donations can be made at www.Donate.WapshottPress.org. We’re also an Amazon charity, so please remember us at Smile.Amazon.com when your shopping there. Thanks!