slow emphatic automobile

draws to a halt

close enough for door

opening catching tree

metal on nature

only sound that hot morning,

unaware or uncaring

he stood and wiped hands

damp from steering a long way

on pants,

out of city into suburban country,

some things had been forgotten

as if an egg timer

had it’s sand shaken loose,

mind conjured and played tricks,

as he looked at what could

only be a desolate shack,

collapsed porch

dark smoke mascara

about window edges

bleak eyes that wound,

no hurry in placing feet

a kind of lawn congealed

with weeds and long brambles,


touch bottle in jacket pocket

making sure it’s still there

whiskey would be only thirst quencher

as water cut off

nothing was disguised

it could be yesterday

fingered  wedding band

his second the first removed

gone it hurt in a painful tightness,

timbers cracked door flat inside

still smelled smoke,

across the wall graffiti

where family pictures once hung

stirred dust with feet

voices came back as soft ghosts

still caught in this place,

he took a sip of whiskey

sweat traveled across his brow,

jar rattled on the floor

dog barked beyond decaying

timber confines,

other pocket heavy as well

as he slipped jacket off,

whiskey bottle put on what was

the kitchen table

charred becoming lopsided,

drew revolver with every chamber full,

a heavy sun filled yard

put short shadows on the fence,

gardeners with hosepipe,





heard the bang

a short report

announcing another ghost





  1. Cathy says:

    Whoa, that was excellent . The ending just rocked!

  2. Pamela says:

    You do paint a vivid picture here, Clawfish.


  3. Veronica Roth says:

    Oh goodness Chris, I wasn’t expecting that ending. Very good read. Very vivid images. Love the dark smoke mascara about window edges. 🙂

  4. oldegg says:

    I don’t know that any of us are immune from revisiting the past, sitting by a graveside or ruing the wayward paths taken. At least his ghosts had soft voices so he had found his love there.

  5. Sabra Bowers says:

    Oh, my! What a read. You painted a scene I won’t forget. I’ve seen places like these…not burned, but abandoned. I’m speechless about the man. I do imagine his spirit would stay there as a ghost. Well done.

  6. Stan Ski says:

    He met up with quite a few ghosts before he joined them…

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