"Let us not be ashamed to speak what we shame not to think."
-Michel de Montaigne

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

One Shot Wednesday Poetry

House Ghost

by Christeene Fraser

“He’s right there Mommy,” she says, “Behind you!”
I turn and see framed crayon pictures of yellow flowers,
stuffed rabbits nibbling carrots sewn to their paws.
“The man is sick,” she tells me, “He’s mean!”

My daughter, the clairvoyant—should have named
her Cassandra. I tell her it’s not nice to fib to her mama,
recalling the light left on in the basement, skin pimpling
from the rush of cold pulling the cord.

Maybe this house ghost of ours rocks in the
corner chair, remembering the heat of July when
he strangled his Dolores in the sewing room, before
he swallowed a barrel, whole, like a ripe banana.

Maybe in the dark he whispers his secret in
my daughter’s ear so that she cannot sleep,
or dreams of death. Perhaps he is angry that
we have painted his walls a shocking cobalt.

Or maybe this house ghost of ours, ‘the Man’ (we’ve named him),
is truly harmless and only watches in the shower while
I lather my hair, and maybe he slides the conditioner closer
to me when I’m blinded by soap and cannot see.

I tell her not to be afraid. I tell her to sleep,
that she is safe in my care; like all parents.
Like all lies.

For One Shot Wednesday


  1. oh this is rather chiling...wonder when we lose those childs eyes...and what she sees..perhaps then is when we start to lie...nice one shot!

  2. very chilling.. ghosts.. sigh! that ending was powerful too..nice one shot!

    Mine Is Here

  3. Amazing the connection between mother and daughter in your poem "...skin pimpling / from the rush of cold pulling the cord" makes me think of both a light amid darkness and an umbilical cord. Thanks for linking up to One Shot!

  4. My son used to talk about seeing someone in the house when he was very young, and sometimes the dogs act strange too. Makes the hairs stand up on the back of your neck.

    Eerie but sweet One Shot, Christeene!

  5. Oooo ghosts just in time for October.
    The feeling of ghosts in the wings is creepy.
    Great One Shot

    moon smiles

  6. Very nice and I loved the way you brought in the house ghost from the scaremonger to a voyeur. It was a simple story to begin with but at the end you turned it around to make it our inner fear of parenting where we keep lying to keep the kids from seeing our fearful self... liked it.

    ॐ नमः शिवाय
    Om Namah Shivaya
    Twitter: @VerseEveryDay
    Blog: http://shadowdancingwithmind.blogspot.com

  7. This is freaky. I deal with the voices in my head which are very real and terrifying. Balor visits every once and a while and seems to me a lot like "The Man." Love and Light, Sender