Ghost of Mama, Passed
Damnedest thing, this smell
Can’t get it out of hair
nor clothes nor bedding
That shit cost me a career
Two weeks of stench
clinging like a needy ex
stalking me like that one guy who…
Here comes freakazoid strange:
Niece calls me, nervous, feels like
“Grandma is trying to say something
to me, it’s important”
Now, I was Charlotte’s listening daughter
But Kati was Grandma’s smoking buddy
They sat and puffed for hours
while I choked in the next room
(but grinning because, hey,
Charlotte smoking and hacking was
still better than Charlotte drinking)
Twentysome years Mom’s been dead
After so much time, you think?
Charlotte clouding me with smoke
and Kati still puffing, could it be?
Mama, we are listening
Tell us what to do
© 2014 Amy Barlow Liberatore/Sharp Little Pencil
At Imaginary Garden With Real Toads, we’re playing, Play it Again, Toads! Going back to an old prompt. First came Ella, invoking Halloween; then, there was a site of lines from ghost poems, one of which we must incorporate into our poem.
One struck me, from Ghost by Paul Mariani: After so much time you think… although I rephrased it for effect.
The experience in my poem is real. It could be weaning off a psych med, although the side effect was not confirmed by my psychiatrist. Maybe some old secondhand smoke finally draining out of my sinuses, like old toxins? Possibly a denim jacket from St. Vincent de Paul that I didn’t launder enough before wearing a few days in a row? It could be something ‘brainiacal,’ and for that I will consult my physician Monday.
But I think it’s Mom, I really do! (Especially because I washed the bejeezus out of the jacket and used a Netipot on my sinuses…) Guess I’m calling Kati tomorrow after church! Peace, Amy (although now I freaked myself out and I probably won’t sleep much. Such is the questionable wisdom of creating ghost stories before bedtime!)