In the wasting crowds who cross here,
who tumble from jets with silenced engines,
who stumble from their coffin seats,
are humbled by their stiffened limbs
after sleep that has eluded them;
from films that have stretched minds
into plasticine indifference. Who cross
the bridges to more waiting lines, more
flights, more places to unwittingly infect.

I seek a daughter who has travelled far
and only can expect the smiles, the hugs,
the way-to-go high-fives. Dubai. A moon
stop in the desert. Life does not go on –
goes through, in all its forms, its
stations for prayerfulness and lavish
chrono watches, latest phones.

Pass by us are the face-masked ghosts
from China, escaping a phage that we
are as yet unaware. Which hunts and
kills. They sit in silence. Hoping to escape,
avoid the airborne threat we others are.
Or which spreads about their land.
Soon these halls will empty. Ghosts
flown to do their work, to hunker down.

April 2020

2 thoughts on “GHOSTS

  1. An appropriately and genuinely haunting piece for our times, John! The phage – splendid word to use – has exposed how wraith-like we are as social beings.

    Liked by 1 person

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