Ever hopeful of a decent night’s sleep, I bought a new mattress from Argos recently. A pale intense looking delivery man heaved my purchase up the thirteen steep steps to my cottage. He looked around as he crossed the threshold and said [this is true, honest] Good spirits are walking this house. When he’d puffed his way to the upstairs landing he added, Just think, this house has witnessed the Black Death and the Plague. It’s true, this is a place that has witnessed events beyond our imagination. Each part of the house has a different atmosphere too, there’s even one room that I hate to sleep in, I don’t know why…something troubles me about it. More later…if I work out why.

Anyway, the Argos delivery man gave me a reminder, not a verbal one, but one that just neatly surfaced in my head,  about a poem I wrote a while ago.


She is here again today

Sitting at the bottom of the stairs

My ghost child.

Eyes hollow

Hair a clutch of seaweed

Mouth a twist of wire.

A crimson gash on chalk.


She smells of sea and smoke

And an outdoor life.


She is waiting again today

Crouched at the turn of the stairs

My ghost child

Whisperless but mouthing

An endless stream of words

That ebb and flow like tide.


She smells of smoke and ashes

And an outdoor life.


She is watching again today

Watching at the head of the stairs

My ghost child

In a frock with intricate smocking

And shoes the colour of blood.


She smells of rats and pigeons

And an outdoor life.


My ghost child comes at night-time

Makes blizzards of all my dreams

Stalks the frontiers of frozen fears

And jabs at the window pane.


She recedes again in the half-light

With a soundless tread on the stairs

Discards shoes with glistening buttons

And a frock all spattered in blood.
Spooky eh? What do you think?

About rhymebydesign

Mother, grandmother, mainstream poet and short story writer. Started off in life as a teacher, but then moved out of the classroom in to educational administration. Curious about what makes people tick, including my own tickings! I enjoy long walks, thought provoking books, theatre and leading a simple life. I offer a customised poetry writing service for any occasion you might like to mark. Contact me at for a quick quote.

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