Treasure Island

michael hogan

(July 14,1943 / Newport, Rhode Island)

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.

Submitted: Sunday, May 12, 2013
Edited: Friday, September 13, 2013
Listen to this poem:

Do you like this poem?
0 person liked.
0 person did not like.

Read this poem in other languages

This poem has not been translated into any other language yet.

I would like to translate this poem »

word flags

What do you think this poem is about?

Comments about this poem (Refusing To Be Ghosts by michael hogan )

Enter the verification code :

There is no comment submitted by members..

Top Poems

  1. Phenomenal Woman
    Maya Angelou
  2. The Road Not Taken
    Robert Frost
  3. If You Forget Me
    Pablo Neruda
  4. Still I Rise
    Maya Angelou
  5. Dreams
    Langston Hughes
  6. Annabel Lee
    Edgar Allan Poe
  7. If
    Rudyard Kipling
  8. Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening
    Robert Frost
  9. I Know Why The Caged Bird Sings
    Maya Angelou
  10. A Dream Within A Dream
    Edgar Allan Poe

PoemHunter.com Updates

New Poems

  1. The Brocades Spilling Out From Your Baza.., mary douglas
  2. In A Sugared Quiet Lit By Multicoloured .., mary douglas
  3. Go on freely, gajanan mishra
  4. Mirror image, Mario,Lucien,Rene Odekerken
  5. Weaver Of Waves, Saiom Shriver
  6. THAT PALM-TREE, MOHAMMAD SKATI
  7. Dune Fringed, Saiom Shriver
  8. Watery Arms, Saiom Shriver
  9. Wet With Words, George Egba
  10. From Chambered Shells, Saiom Shriver

Poem of the Day

poet Alfred Lord Tennyson

It little profits that an idle king,
By this still hearth, among these barren crags,
Match'd with an aged wife, I mete and dole
Unequal laws unto a savage race,
...... Read complete »

   
[Hata Bildir]