waking at every sound
or no sound at all
startled by silence
footprints down the hall

ghosts of real and imagined threat
wafting from rafters
crouching under floorboards
smirking from behind paintings of safe places
seeping out from fountains of fear
pent up emotion paces
exploding from mountains of weariness
years of exhaustion
my face wet
each teardrop an expression of grief
my own or someone else’s loss
engraved like a tattoo on my heart
then another, and another
just when i start to recover
yet another grieving father and mother appear

these worries are as real as my face
changing form with the mood
tangible as bills not paid
a table without food

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