Hour 1 – Casper the Ghost

I had a toy when I was young
of Casper of the Ghost
He smiled in his tray
until it was sheathed away
The tray would come back empty
and for years
I didn’t know where he went.

I open the door to our apartment
and am met with
silence.

Not the silence of waiting
of bags and coats left on chairs
from when you picked your outfit
just before rushing out the door
a risky game
to catch the bus on time
of dishes left on the table
all to be cleaned
when you return.

This is a stagnant silence
it rests heavy
living room and kitchen empty
except for my dishes
which are piling in the sink
my spoken words drop
unanswered to the floor.

I lock the door when I get home
because I know
no one will follow me in
even hours too late
loud happy affectionate drunk
to tie my shoes and
say “I love you.”

The trick to Friendly Casper
was a second compartment
hidden in the tray
where he would get pushed
if sheathed just right
I figured it out
holding the plastic up to light
to see his silhouette
framed in orange amber
He was trapped away
in an uncomfortable home
but would always return
smiling still
when the tray was flipped.

Your shoes still clutter
our muddy shoe tray.

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