My Ghosts of Darby

There was Eva first

the giggly girl with long, straight hair

and freckles

The impish grin erased

in a flash, across the hood of a car

on the last day of summer vacation

Eyes of china blue gone glassy

in the August sun

The driver never saw you

Still I wonder

Who would you have been?



Mousy Mindy, the quiet girl

Hair of gold and eyes of grey

dark circles under your eyes

because you couldn’t sleep

All the weight of shame, disgrace

with only that inner voice to counsel

You dropped your weight at the end of a rope

Your mother found your lifeless body

Still I wonder

Who would you have been?


And Jay

The prankster, the merrymaker

ever full of mirth

I still visit the place

where waters whisper your laughter

across the shoals, not fifty yards

from where you last parked

Still I wonder

Who would you have been?

Still I wonder

Who am I?


4 thoughts on “My Ghosts of Darby

    • Thank you Neil. This one is very personal to me. It’s been festering in me a long time and then poured out in an instant. I knew each one of those kids, that’s what they were then. I can still see each of their faces and remember vivid details about them, but forever in their youth. Sad chances are that had they lived it is more likely we’d have lost track of one another in our own lives and never been thought of again. Because they were lost I remember them still. And what does that say about me?


  1. We lost Jay 40 years ago this week. Jay was a brilliant artist, but he acquired a taste for a poison that drove him to depression and ultimately suicide. If he were still around I would have commissioned him for illustrations. If you scroll back a ways into the Poets Page you will find another memorial I had to him in a blank verse called Sixteen Inches


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