You're a TV
left on
in the other room.

You're the hum
of the furnace
turning on late at night.

Time has worn you
down like the hats
your grandfather gave you.

And sometimes you
can hear the click
of his heels in the hallway

when you chatter away
to your reflection,
half hoping for a reply.

Sometimes the ghosts
move your glasses to the high shelf
in the bathroom cabinet,

and you'll curse the shadows
when you nick your knee
on the corner of the sink to retrieve them.

On rare occassions
you'll call the only friend
you have left,

to tell her you
think someone's been
in the house.

She'll tell you
in that breathless voice
of hers that you're

just tired;
take a lie down,
you need rest.

But when you do,
your chest caves in
and you hear

your childhood
playing in
the other room.

By the time
the furnace hums on,
you're back beside the mirror,

apologizing
for cutting the conversation
short last time.