Poetry Strange

APPARITIONS | Paula R. Hilton’s poem speaks to the shadow people.

Poetry

by Paula R. Hilton

At ordinary moments,
figures dart by
in shadow.
When I’m writing.
Doing dishes.
Tending to the dogs.

Kind spirits?
Malevolent?
Or harbingers?
And, if so,
of what?

Unsettled,
I welcome them
anyway. It’s been
a lonely season. For
weeks, they cross

lines. Lift veils.
Dreams become
vivid. Lost people,
live again. Last night,
I squeezed Dad’s

hand. Felt warmth.
Smelled his scent:
Camel cigarettes.
A little sunshine.
Some moss. Saw
Grandma Alice

too. Sat in her kitchen.
Played Scrabble. Her eyes
crinkled into a smile
when I turned over the tile
you choose to see who
goes first, but it was
smooth. Blank.
The figures

in everyday life
grow clearer too. Stop
running from me. Settle in
for a chat: It’s what
we’ve been telling you
since your baby
days. Life is

but a dream. “So,” I ask,
“what’s next?” The voices,
a chorus, overwhelm:
Shed the coil, they say.
Close your eyes.

And wake up.


Paula R. Hilton | https://paularhilton.com
https://www.facebook.com/author.paularhilton/

Paula R. Hilton is a novelist who explores the ways deeply flawed people can still be forces of good in the world. Her fiction, essays, and poetry have appeared on the FeminineCollective and NPR’s This I Believe websiteas well as in a number of literary journals, including The Tulane ReviewKalliope, and Ellipsis. Hilton’s debut novel, Little Miss Chaos, was selected as a 2016 Best Indie Teen Read by Kirkus

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