July 6, 2015

By Sarah Hirsch

Don’t you worry about ghosts?
he asked of my funeral-home apartment,
where I’ve lived for two years.
No, I worry about people.
I replied, thinking of yesterday’s shootings:
a seven-year old boy watching fireworks with his daddy.
Eighty-two shot, fifteen dead.
In Chicago.
Alone.

If ghosts linger in my home, they are kind;
we have never yet felt violence at their hands.
The dead don’t wish to bring us to their neighborhood,
but we the people like to push each other over there.
The spirits floating overhead watch as I tidy the house,
play with my son, lay down to sleep.
They don’t concern me.

Put down the guns.