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by Cheryl Scheir


I have never seen a ghost. 

It’s a good thing, too, because I get really scared. 


Like, run up the basement steps, scared. 

Like, walk past the mirrors real quick when it’s dark so I don’t see it (whatever it is), scared. 

Like, don’t close my eyes even in the bed because of the scary faces I see behind my eyelids, scared.

Not like those people you hear, casually talking about the creepy, faceless shadow figure with the boots and the hat crouched up on the roof of their childhood home for years. 

I’d get the message on day one. 

Yup. Gotta go

Growing up, I was always the last one awake at sleepovers. 

I never slept.

Too scared.

These days, it’s looking backwards and forwards that haunts me. 

In the night, I rehearse episodes of regretful decisions, difficult times. 

I think about what was, what could have been, where we could have ended up.

Foggy, but not dreaming, I slip into melancholy--

That most poetic of feelings, a pensive sadness.

I know that sunrise will come.

The light will shine.

The melancholy mist will clear for the moment,

If not forever.


Definition of melancholy, borrowed from Lexico, available at

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