Ghosts in Aunt Mary's Attic
by Patricia Wellingham-Jones

Dust stirs
only a mote
on a breeze poking
its inquisitive nose
through a crack.

More would never be allowed
in Aunt Mary's
impeccable attic.

Dark trunks
line the walls
hint of brooding secrets.

Monthly dusting fails
to scour away
the musty memories
papers cracked with age
pictures brown
stained with sorrow.

Garments in ragged ranks
swathed in sheets
loom in the dim
light of corners
ready to pounce
when my wary
eye slides away.

I could sleep
with my sister
safe among cabbage roses
and violets
trailing purple ribbons
but I choose to creep
up the uncarpeted
steps with their narrow bend
and one fragile rail
to my pallet
by the window

among the ghosts.


Previously published in Raintown Review, March 1998

Patricia Wellingham-Jones is a former psychology researcher/writer/editor/lecturer and two-time Pushcart Prize nominee. Her work has been published in numerous anthologies, journals, and internet magazines including The Tule Review, Phoebe, Visions international, Manzanita Quarterly, Midwest Poetry Review, Nanny Fanny, mélange journal, FZQ. Her latest chapbook is Don’t Turn Away: Poems About Breast Cancer and she recently edited Labyrinth: Poems & Prose. She lives on a creek in rural northern California, USA, with her husband and two cats.


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