Ghosts

Some ghosts are women,
neither abstract nor pale,
their breasts as limp as killed fish.
Not witches, but ghosts
who come, moving their useless arms
like forsaken servants.

Not all ghosts are women,
I have seen others;
fat, white-bellied men,
wearing their genitals like old rags.
Not devils, but ghosts.
This one thumps barefoot, lurching
above my bed.

But that isn't all.
Some ghosts are children.
Not angels, but ghosts;
curling like pink tea cups
on any pillow, or kicking,
showing their innocent bottoms, wailing
for Lucifer.

by Anne Sexton

Comments (8)

Hugh, fantastically rich. You've got me thinking now about revision in general. Greg is right about the additional texture. Grand indeed.
As an advocate of the revision, (as is Wen) this new version is greatly improved via some added moxey. As you had stated, Hugh, the original was very much a prose type piece, which was all well and good, but you've managed to enhance the number with the laying on of more poetic textures. Good show, ole chap! Respectfully, Greg
Hugh this was an amazing poem, but also love the ease in this revision. The imagery delightful and soothing, a very spiritual effect in your description. A gift for your readers. :) ♥ Angie
I loved this the first time around, the nature and the poetry and finally the spirit, you might be a guru! !
Hugh this is a wonderfully descriptive write. I've noticed this about birds myself. Joyce
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