My ghosts emerge from fresh photographs
with vacant smiles, and framed certificates
in my study. They wear clothes that do not fit,
and dream of things I have long since left behind.
I hear them speak names that I have never heard.
When, on the cold nights, I wake
from sleep, I hear more ghosts
moving in the attic. They knock
over boxes and fall down the stairs.
I sometimes nurse them back to health:
I sit with them, and make them tea,
and listen to their stories—
such long-winded, distant tales.
And in the kitchen, on those nights,
if I am tired enough, and my guard
is down, and I feel alone, I will sit
with them—and remember.