Today's poem is by Jeanne Marie Beaumont

To Avoid a White Day

Death settles nothing. Let's get that straight.
Those who went down anxious, mad, betrayed
Are haunters who dwell now in real estate
Like raucous squatters. On most days
Their dysfunction is familiar, quirky,
Quaint: trips on the steps, switch-play with lights.
Clumsily they drop small items out among
The living then withdraw, an unnerved throng.
A peripheral glancing shudder? Soon it's gone.

But on white days, they're wound up to a frenzy.
Bad to worse it goes from shrieks to smashing chairs,
Botched entries and brash topples down the stairs.
On such days they appear in coats of plastery
Whitewash that disfigure each bleak soul.
Should you spot them then, you'd do best not
To stare, linger, try to interfere — no!
Guard tight your rose of vibrancy as you
Slip past their riot's nest. Let them rot.

Copyright © 2016 Jeanne Marie Beaumont All rights reserved
from The Manhattan Review
Reprinted by Verse Daily® with permission

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