Ghosts

For Bjorn’s prompt at Real Toads.  He asks us to flashback to a time and place in our memories.  Smells, songs, words will all take us there.  Thank you for the interesting prompt! 15 lines on the 15th in Honor of Shay Fireblossom, a true poet and friend.

Ghosts
“Ghosts don’t haunt us. That’s not how it works. They’re present among us because we won’t let go of them.” ― Sue Grafton, M is for Malice

The sign said, Pansies for Sale.
I closed my eyes and remembered
pansy eyes.
I am surrounded by ghosts.
I remember lovers, chefs, drugs, family.
Mostly I remember the pansy brown eyes
of my grandmother dying from bone cancer,
my mother’s pansy brown eyes
as she lay dying from the effects
of dementia and heart failure.
Even in winter I remember that perfect June day.
She closed those wilted pansies
for the last time.
I remember that perfect June day
not long after she died of your dying by your own hand.

 

14 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. oldegg
    Nov 16, 2019 @ 00:22:25

    How right Sue Grafton was in writing “Ghosts don’t haunt us….we just don’t let go of them”. Traumatic moments are like this, they are old baggage that we just can’t let go.

    Reply

  2. kim881
    Nov 16, 2019 @ 04:05:50

    The quote you chose to accompany your poem is so true, Toni, and I like the introduction of the trigger, the pansies, through a sign. Flowers remind me of my grandmother too. Bluebells and poppies are my mother.

    Reply

  3. Björn Rudberg (brudberg)
    Nov 16, 2019 @ 11:25:02

    I love the color visual of the flower… grandmother and mother both dying, I wonder if it’s possible to see a pansy without coming back

    Reply

  4. Linda Lee Lyberg
    Nov 16, 2019 @ 14:02:52

    Ah, Toni, this is wonderful. “Pansy brown eyes”- wow!

    Reply

  5. Kestril Trueseeker
    Nov 16, 2019 @ 20:15:13

    Legacies seem to come with ghosts attached. The pain that comes from those ghosts are the hardest ones to exorcise.

    Reply

  6. Helen L Dehner
    Nov 16, 2019 @ 20:57:58

    Some memories are simply too hard to bear ….

    Reply

  7. revivedwriter
    Nov 16, 2019 @ 22:50:48

    Wow, wow, wow! I love this and was about to say it was “haunting,” but I didn’t want to inadequate make a bad pun. 🙂

    Reply

  8. Kerry
    Nov 17, 2019 @ 07:12:03

    For me this poem taps into a deep well of painful memories.. the eyes like pansies image is one I can relate to, and now I am remembering my own dying grandmother. Very well done.

    Reply

  9. RedCat
    Nov 17, 2019 @ 14:05:03

    So beautiful. That last line brought tears to my eyes.

    Reply

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