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The Ghosts We Leave Behind (poem)

By: Melanie Heard

Copyright 2021, May not be used for any purpose without express written permission from the author.

The ghosts we leave behind Stand waving in the crumbling archways.

White scarves flowing in the whipping wind

Probably too long…

Probably too dramatic…

Like a movie

A song

Or a torrid dream.

It is always daybreak or twilight

And never in between.

For mid-day ruins the effect.

They cannot touch us

Nor we them.


They twitch one side of their mouths.




Smiles should not be so grim.

They know pain

Like a wool blanket on our hearts

And they watch and wave

And smile their half smiles.

They know we will see them again.


If only to recall.

The hurt

The sting

The rusted wedding ring.

We walk away

Swearing never to look over our shoulders.

They send us off…

With night wind kisses that

Make us shiver.

And ache.

The white whipping scarves

Stretch out like lies.

Half smiles and trembling memories

Of splintered mirror images.

Laughter like a car crash.

As if only to remind us

We can never leave the ghosts behind.

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