A Visitation

I’m fearful of the dark,
stressed out by creeping shadow
and cries for help
that stick in the back
of the throat like gum,
as something, someone,
floats through
the shuttered windows.
I’m supposed to be sleeping
but closing my eyes
is an invitation
for the intruder
to come closer.
Instead, I freeze,
my flesh cold
as a gravestone,
my bones immobile.
If only I could make sound
but my voice
is in thrall
to its own silence,
so I merely lie here,
follow the visitor
with fumbling eyes.
It passes through my wall
and into another room.
Who knows where
it goes from there.
And I am alone,
shuddering like
a pond in wind,
at one a.m.,
already praying for daybreak.

Ghosts mean me no harm,
I am assured by others.
But never by the otherworldly.


John Grey
John Grey is an Australian poet, US resident. Recently published in Midwest Quarterly, Poetry East and Columbia Review with work upcoming in South Florida Poetry Journal, Hawaii Review and Roanoke Review.