October 2005 / Volume Six / Issue Five
Ronan Barbour
ghosts

pranksters have been calling my dad and I
in the early morning
and leaving messages on the answering machine
we donít know who they are
or what they look like
only
that they are ghosts
from my sisterís past

they like to call after midnight
and tell
how theyíve fucked her, how itís
been done

they like to rap
about doing it to her
again

and what they'll do to us

eerily
the phone will ring and ring when it shouldnít
and then Iíll hear their voices
downstairs
talking
to no one
in the dark

my dad sleeps in his room across the hall
next to the phone
and I stay up late, as usual
only now
I keep my 9mm loaded and
wait
for the sound of footsteps
or the bark of Boomer, the neighborís dog
or cars passing back and forth
too slowly
beneath my window
or
something else

I wait now
knowing that they
will probably never come for me or my dad
knowing that they
like most ghosts
don't want to appear

like most others
they exist only
to remind

until
the time comes
to drift on.
RETURN TO OCTOBER 2005