A Few of My Ghosts Comment on My Recent Behavior, a poem

illustration a few of my ghosts comment on my recent behavior

A Few of My Ghosts Comment on My Recent Behavior

Bravo! says Father. It’s about time! he says.  I was beginning to

            think you’d forgotten everything I shared with you.

How could you? says Grandmother.  How could you betray me that

            way?  Everything I believed in, taught you, gone!

This is just like you, says Mother.  I knew something like this

            would happen eventually.  I knew it was just a matter of

            time.

Grandfather just looks me in the eye and shakes his head.  He

            knows exactly how such a thing can happen.

I never thought you’d have the nerve, says Father.  I thought I’d

            lost you forever, missed my chance.

I never thought you’d do such a thing, says Grandmother.  I

            thought I’d taught you better manners.

I always knew you’d do something like this, says Mother.  You’re

            so damned stubborn.

I was just hoping you’d have more sense, says Grandfather.  He

            still loves me, he always will.

Live as I would have, says Father.  Live for me.

No, live as I would have, says Grandmother.  Live for me.

Nothing I say will make any difference with you, says Mother.

            You never would agree to live for me.  I only gave birth to

            you.  I’m not someone really important, God knows.

Please be careful, says Grandfather.  Long ago, he charted the

            dangerous waters, entirely alone, no one to guide him.

You must always tell the absolute truth, says Father.  It is the

            only thing that will save you.

You must never tell the truth, says Grandmother.  It is what will

            destroy you.

You always were a liar, says Mother.  You told the truth only

            when it suited you.

Tell only the necessary elements of the story, and then only to

            the necessary people, says Grandfather.  He is secretive by

            nature, and full of legal advice.

Don’t think about things too much, says Father.  Follow your

            heart.  You know, that ugly chunk of muscle in the center of

            your chest?  It keeps you going, but for what purpose?

            Don’t ever stop listening to it, the way I did.

I want you to stop and think before you do anything else crazy,

            says Grandmother.

I know you’ve already made up your mind, says Mother.  You never

            listen to a word I say.  It’s pointless for me to try.

There’s no need for haste, for immediate action, says Grandfather. 

            Is there?  He wants only to protect me, I am

            his dear flesh and blood.  In all the family, I am the most   

            like him.

You loved me more than you ever let on, says Father.  I really

            meant something to you.  Even though you’re suffering for it

            now, I’m glad of it.

You didn’t really love me at all, says Grandmother.  Perhaps you

            didn’t understand what I meant when I spoke of love.

You only love yourself, says Mother.  You’re selfish, you’ve

            always been selfish.  You’ll never change.

Love is not always the most practical idea, says Grandfather.

            Let’s think instead in terms of happiness.  He himself was

            moderately unhappy for years — though so graceful, so

            appealing, so charming in his distress, and every inch a

            gentleman.

So, what will you do now? asks Father.  He tilts his head and

            smiles, and the knowing look in his bright blue eyes give me

            the shivers.

I don’t even want to know what you’ll do next, says Grandmother.

            Her eyes are red, and I feel myself wanting to cry with her,

            cry for her, but I can’t, and this hurts her more than

            anything.

I know exactly what’s coming, says Mother.  I’ve always known.

Whatever you decide, nothing will ever make you feel any worse

            than you feel right now, says Grandfather, and then he puts

            his arms around me and kisses me with all the feelings he

            never, ever would have permitted me to see while he was

            alive.

2 Comments

Filed under poetry

2 responses to “A Few of My Ghosts Comment on My Recent Behavior, a poem

  1. Nice. A word picture of the “ghosts” that haunt all of us. You never disclose what they’re commenting on. But then, they’d react the same way whatever course of action you might choose.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. oh, dear anna waldherr, isn’t that the truth??? thank you for really, really reading this.

    Liked by 1 person

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