I was super excited to see today’s NaPoWriMo challenge asking for a “spooky” poem in honour of the 13th day! I decided to mix it with the Poetic Asides call for a poem about a “view.” The combination easily brought to mind a creepy family story that I begged to hear over and over again when I was a child.
From The Kitchen Window
Every family has their ghost stories.
My parents often talked about their first house together.
Haunted, said my Mom. Rundown, said my dad.
Cold breezes in the middle of rooms,
creaking and clacking from the attic when they tried to sleep,
and that feeling Mom couldn’t quell, an unexplainable, eerie
presence hovering behind her whenever she stood at the kitchen sink.
She’d stare out the window while she washed vegetables or dishes,
focusing on how quickly the neighbour’s sunflowers grew, watching
kids play ball hockey on the road, waiting for my Dad to pull up
in his Chevy, come inside for supper, ask her about her day.
Waiting for him to convince her of her own vivid imagination.
Then the day they returned after two weeks away.
Pulled up to see a lawn in need of trimming, newspapers stacked on the step,
a few puddles offering proof of recent rain.
When their eyes seemed lured toward that square kitchen window,
they saw the curtains pulled back by some unseen hand,
then a swish of movement as the curtains quickly fell closed.
You had to have seen that, Mom said, frightened but relieved to have something
not reasoned away by a trick of the eye, old pipes, or a brain set spinning by loneliness.
I did, Dad replied, voice nearly a whisper.
Guess it was wondering when we’d finally be home.