Home Ghosts

Home Ghosts

Your mail still arrives,
splayed about on the garage floor,
as if you never truly closed the door.
I mark them with a blood red ink stamp
for their return journey,
and occasionally,
the post office mistakenly
returns them to me.

Occasionally, a foreign object will appear:
A children’s book;
A Catholic candle or three;
A photograph;
A box of gemstones;
A glass art panel.

The glass makes me think
I’m not the first artist to live here,
and perhaps the stain glass window
in my living room sanctuary
was created right here.

The most haunting thing is the painting.
Her ghostly face stares at me
with dead eyes from a monotone
brown smeared spirally piece.
It’s jarring my inner peace,
but I know not what to do with it.

This house has thirty-five years
of history prior to us.
This house has existed for five more than me.
It’s a relic from the 1970s.
A condo in a neighborhood
called Valley of Colors
with a very blocky 70s rainbow.

Skylights, orange shingles,
and slanted walls like my grandparents’ house.
Up high on a hill with a balcony like I’ve always wanted.
Even a bar, though I’ve stopped drinking for now.
Mushroom patterns inside simple cabinet designs.
Wooden floors that set me dancing.

I’m definitely at home here,
but I wonder about who made this place home before me.
Some had died and some had moved.
I suppose we all do.
I live with the knowledge that for me,
this all will likely be temporary, too.

For death will come or tragedy will strike,
and control, well, control I lack,
over anything but poetry,
and that is temporary, too.

D.L. Lang
D.L. Lang
D.L. Lang of Vallejo, CA is the author of nine poetry collections, including 2016's Poet Loiterer which Kirkus Reviews described as containing "Free-spirited ideals couched in fairly infectious rhymes." She enjoys performing her poems at open mics and entering them in county fairs.