Refusing To Be Ghosts
The elderly pass among us
in a blur of gray and white
noticed only when they hold up the line fumbling for change in a plastic purse
or do not know how to swipe the card with the proper side up
or scan the reservation code, or stand on the right of the moving sidewalk.
They are tentative and fragile like children or puppies
but not as cute
so they do not call forth our tenderness.
We wish them out of the way with their shuffling steps and inane questions
their garrulous complaints.
Each day they become more irrelevant
which is why they cling to their houses, faded photos
and a worn-out view of the world.
It is why they annoy those closest to them
with their imperious demands.
They are refusing to become ghosts.
They are saying, We are here watching your progress
but we see them only from the corner of the eye;
their presence barely registers.
They are too much like our own shadows of wistful regret
that accompany us on every journey.
The substance of who we are really
after youth and fashion, position and power are stripped away
and we are immigrants in unwelcoming country
whose customs we do not know
and whose language (which we learned imperfectly as children)
now confounds the tongue.
michael hogan's Other Poems
Read this poem in other languages
This poem has not been translated into any other language yet.
Comments about this poem (Refusing To Be Ghosts by michael hogan )
- My Mother..., Taimane Fanene
- Ignoring Seasons, RoseAnn V. Shawiak
- Ephemera, Ian Nicholas McDowell
- Seeing light in Darkness, Aziz Akrish
- Mother! will I not be the saffron spot o.., Dr.V.K. Kanniappan
- A Virtual Life, Sandra Feldman
- Never Ending Dreams, Lilly Emery
- My Soul's Song, Matthew Densley
- No love, Barbara Dixion
- Music Is Life, Ray Hansell
Poem of the Day
- 04 Tongues Made Of Glass, Shaun Shane
- Still I Rise, Maya Angelou
- The Road Not Taken, Robert Frost
- Phenomenal Woman, Maya Angelou
- I Know Why The Caged Bird Sings, Maya Angelou
- Fire and Ice, Robert Frost
- Dreams, Langston Hughes
- Invictus, William Ernest Henley
- Annabel Lee, Edgar Allan Poe
- The Raven, Edgar Allan Poe
(4 April 1928 - 28 May 2014)
(March 26, 1874 – January 29, 1963)
(1 February 1902 – 22 May 1967)
(12 July 1904 – 23 September 1973)
Edgar Allan Poe
(19 January 1809 - 7 October 1849)
(10 December 1830 – 15 May 1886)
- Heather Burns
William Butler Yeats
(13 June 1865 – 28 January 1939)
(16 August 1920 – 9 March 1994)