Ancient History

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Laura-Marie Taylor


The dead man who looks for his wife
could make you cry,
his teenaged daughter beside him on the buggy-seat.
The husband-dad goes up to the farmhouse
after getting directions in town for
maybe the hundredth time.
“Is Mrs. Ruggs here?”
he asks the woman who opens the door.
“No, no one by that name’s ever lived here,” she says,
so the ghost gets agitated and asks,
“Are you sure?” because he recognizes it—
those shutters,
the dip in the porch where something happened.
They had been away on a trip—
they were never heard from again
because a storm kicked up
and they weren’t prepared.
The woman says she’s certain,
no Ruggs in those parts,
as far as she knows, ever.
The man says, “No home tonight.”
In another hundred years
maybe they’ll actually make it there again.
When two ghosts who are searching for eachother meet,
is there a thunder clap?
Are they happy,
or do they pass through one another like air?
Or is it part of their punishment
that they’re always looking—
was it his fault the buggy tripped?
Or the road washed out and he didn’t control the horses.
The teenaged daughter isn’t really part of the story,
but she’s looking at you right now.

By Laura-Marie

Good at listening to the noise until it makes sense.

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