Vox Populi

A Public Sphere for Poetry, Politics, and Nature

Rachel Hadas: Do You Believe in Ghosts?

              for Bryanna Tidmarsh
 
Do you believe in ghosts? she asked.
New world of specters, muffled, masked:
now is the moment for this query,
when every encounter’s eerie
and we can only recognize
familiar faces by their eyes.
Not quite certain who we see
and navigating cautiously,
we make our slow and blurry way
through the labyrinth of each day.
If human faces are concealed
by mask or shield or mask and shield,
much else now is crystal clear –
not that it wasn’t always here,
but habit blithely papered over
structures we now must rediscover.
The virus casts a lurid glow
on what we knew and didn’t know,
leaving us with no excuse
to ignore forces on the loose.
In streets now crowded, we can sense
history’s weighty consequence,
not dead, and therefore not a ghost –
the past is never even past.
Still, I believe in ghosts: in all
the clouds of the invisible
the now beset us: memory,
injustice, virus, ancestry,
the gifts and poisons of each spirit
that we unknowingly inherit,
the countless energies that fly
unnoticed by the human eye.
So much, so much we cannot see!
That is what ghost means to me.
Pandora opened up her jar;
out flew the evils, fast and far,
famine and pestilence and war.
Hope, last, remained inside somehow –
hope that sustains us here and now,
poised, out most beloved ghost,
between the future and the past.
 
    

Rachel Hadas’s many books include Poems for Camilla (Measure Press, 2018).

Copyright 2020 Rachel Hadas

3 comments on “Rachel Hadas: Do You Believe in Ghosts?

  1. kim4true
    November 1, 2020

    Powerful and so topical. So evocative or the mood everywhere.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Barbara Huntington
    October 31, 2020

    Wonderful poem. It soars and sings.

    Liked by 1 person

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This entry was posted on October 31, 2020 by in Opinion Leaders, Poetry, spirituality and tagged , .

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