His Presence is Real

boots-with-milldust

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.

ghostly-outline

 

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…  

blackbird

 

© 2016 mandy smith

(excerpt from memoir)

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