Night Watchman

Michael the Archangel

I was the kid,
Who stayed awake
With fingers pressed
On the window
Leaving circles
Rimmed with frost, and
Illuminated by the moon,
The h
ard darkness behind me.

I was the kid,
Who took on the ghosts
Coming up the stairs,
Pushing past them
To discover, again,
The house was not on fire,
The front door was locked,
And all no one else was awake.

I was the kid
Who stood guard,
And fought off the invisible.
The one aching for sleep,
Face pressed to the pillow —
One the winter night
An unexpected bang in
The furnace, somehow,
Failed to slaughter us all.

Notes:

I had terrible insomnia for many years. Happily, I don’t have that problem, anymore.

Tell us about one of your ghosts! Leave a comment!

Author: Virginia Wagner Galfo

These are scary times. Prepare yourself to take a stand for what is right. God damn it, just be kind!

2 thoughts on “Night Watchman”

  1. Love it, Virginia! I was a big scaredy cat. I always feel that you and I have more in common than we ever knew!

    When I was little, my family and I stayed in a Victorian duplex house in Cape May, New Jersey for the month of August for five years. When we first took the place, we were told that an old man by the name of Mr. Townsend had passed away there, and that they had found no Will.

    My mother, being the crazy woman she was (read coffee grounds and had séances sometimes, things like that) believed that he was in the house, and started telling us all the time that he was there.

    Then, it started happening, and you can ask my brothers and sisters, of which there are many. The bunk beds would buck for no reason. The locked door to the bathroom would unlock and open while you were in there, lights would go on and off, the tie on the man’s portrait in the dining room would change positions! The phone would ring, and no one would be there. You could feel someone around you all the time, even when you were alone! I was scared to be in any room by myself, and never went to sleep until the sun came up, around 5:30 am!

    One night I had to go to the kitchen for something. I think my mom had sent me down, and I had begged not to go, but I had to, so I determined to run downstairs, and run back as fast as I could. We had all been upstairs for quite some time. When I reached the living room, I looked at the couch (as I was running past), and saw the imprint of someone lying there, as if the pillows were being crushed at that moment! Creepy! I started to really believe my mom at that point!

    Then, when we got back to South Orange, NJ, where we lived, she said he came with us, because he had become so attached to her. Dammit! I thought we left him in Cape May! I was finally going to sleep! My dad didn’t believe in any of this stuff, and always made fun of my mom for it.

    Then came Thanksgiving, and as we were finishing giving thanks and dad was preparing to carve the turkey, the doorbell rang. We were wondering who it could be, because everyone who had been invited was there, but there was always room for more in our house. Daddy put down the carving knife, and went to answer the door. When he came back, no one was with him, and he appeared ashen and scared!

    He said when he went to the door, there was a tall skinny elderly man standing there in a hat. Dad opened the door, and the man walked into the house, and disappeared! Daddy never doubted what my mom said again, and neither did I! Thank God I am old enough now not to care if they (spirits) are real or not, or I never would have gotten any sleep!

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    1. Hi, Meg – Yes, we do have a lot in common. We have what I call Ghost Management in my family. When I lived by myself in my late grandfather’s house, I knew he was nearby. His work pants still hung from a nail in the garage – and I had saved one of his tee shirts after he died – I wanted so much to feel connected. My mother passed four years later, also at home. When my sister and I finally sold Grandpa’s house, I asked him to come with me. I know that he did, because, again, when I feel scared, he comes to mind and I feel safe. I think Lynnie and I will always take our ghosts with us. Now, if the ghost belonged to someone I didn’t know, that might be different. 🙂 Take care, my friend!

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