His Presence is Real


Mill dust covers the worn leather boots

At the base of the curtain

That is my bedroom door.


Lying in my metal-frame bed

I see the ghostly outline

Of my stepfather

Through its worn, flowered fabric.



It is not my imagination—

The stench of whiskey and stale tobacco


Tells me his presence is real.



He watches me

Through the long, narrow space

Between the curtain and wall

And I watch him

Through slits Of my partially closed eyes…  



© 2016 mandy smith

(excerpt from memoir)




5 thoughts on “His Presence is Real

  1. You know, Mandy, I really thought this post and ‘On the 7th Day …’ were going to be religious, but they were not. I have nothing against religion, but the connotation did pique my interest. I was coming up the stairs just now having got up in the night to visit the downstairs bathroom and though ‘he’ wasn’t there, I still (many, many years later) felt my father’s hand up my nightdress and shuddered. Your poem really resonates with me and I hope that we both (and all the other survivors out there) can feel the absence of that presence as we heal. Thank you for sharing.

    Liked by 1 person

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