The ghosts of our past

Walking beside the woman

Is the ghost of the girl she was,

Edges indistinct, blurred, frayed

As if the air was parting company with itself

Atom by atom.

I see her peering out from behind a denim-clad leg,

A tangle of brown hair framing her face,

Eyes brown, like burnished conkers,

And a mischievous grin that lingers in the corner of the woman’s smile.

People move, walking in seamless waves

Into the shopping centre,

And the little ghost vanishes again, into the past.

This poem was inspired by a trick of the light. I thought, just for a moment, that I could see a little child standing next to an adult in the town centre, but when I looked again, there was nothing there. It inspired me to think about the idea of your childhood self ‘haunting’ the adult you become.

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