First Generation Ghost

If you don’t see it, you don’t have to think about it.
Don’t think. That might remind you
of the world existing just outside the borders
of the manufactured frame you’ve been given.
The multi-hued world people like me live in.

Of course we’re still there,
inside your balance adjusted frame.
Otherworldly ghosts moving inside your scenes,
turning the smaller gears you’ve eschewed -
the gears that keep a pulse of a nation smooth.

Though my first cries were made on this soil,
I was reminded my place was with the ghosts.
“Be quiet, so you don’t scare people
With your arcane Latin tongue.”

So many hoops to jump through
to fit the definition of a woman of substance
yet feeling more insubstantial as I go through every one
to occupy a solid space in the world.

I’m too tired to jump them.
I reject being silent. I will tell my own stories.
Let people squirm when I write
the stories in my blood and sign my name
in letters larger than John Hancock’s.

The world may be unready for more ghost stories,
but I'm ready to tell them.

This poem was inspired by the prompt given over at Imaginary Gardens With Real Toads: On Poetry, Writing & Metaphor - Dreaming With Stacie. Stacie asked us to look around our environment and create a poem about something see/ hear/ smell using an extended metaphor. The Hamilton mix tape (as well as the Hamilton soundtrack) is on heavy rotation in my home and the song Immigrants (We Get the Job Done) had just come up in my music shuffle. The line "America's ghost writers" is still one of the most brilliant things I've ever heard, especially in the context of the song. It's hard for me not to feel inspired every time I hear it. So I didn't fight it and created this poem. 


I was taught to shun the mists.
It hides things
too indecent to walk
under the full light of the sun.

So I stood in the sunshine
ignoring the burning,
explaining away pain
because this is what I was taught to do.

Until I decided to be a poor student,
let mists soothe the suffering in my skin.  
And instead of monsters in the mist,
I found you.

Silken mist curls around us both
cocooning us, as our fingertips linger
on beloved lips we wish to keep
from saying the word goodbye.

Though goodbye is only temporary
until we find our way through the mists again.
As I wait, caught between the misty days,

I think it is the sun who ought to be ashamed.

Kissing in the Rain – Anja B├╝hrer

This poem was created using the picture prompt given at MindLoveMisery's Menagerie: Photo Challenge #148 . It's also linked on the Tuesday Platform over at Imaginary Gardens for Real Toads