Softened shadows follow me
between the temporal poles of light
as dawn is echoed hauntingly,
reflected in this dusk, this night.
Yet heartfelt scent
on whispers lent
does bathe each silent moment spent,
that stands me breathing sparingly
amidst this hallowed fright.
The footsteps in the corridor,
in pensive creaks and strain,
bear the question still once more,
“who’s there?” in feared refrain.
The words once said
thus beckon moans from one long dead,
that freeze me at the bedroom’s door
in pounding heart and vein.
Long the silence holds me still,
afraid to move or breathe,
as courage seeks to gain my will
and from this frigid posture leave.
Yet curiously held
by what befell
the one who moans beyond death’s knell,
I wait in silent pause until
I hear the voice in heaves.
“Tis time immortal spent in haunt,
a penance price, my dues,
to walk here in eternal want
within these dying shoes
that paced the mud
of murder’s blood
spilt in hate and jealous flood,
that left my soul drawn long and gaunt,
repentant in these hues.”
Aghast, the spectre stood before
my bloodless shade of face,
bowing to the hallway floor
in anguish o’er the place
where true love died
in faith denied,
where jealous hands had once decried
that love could stand no more
and here fell long to death’s embrace.
He turned to me in whispered tone,
“not I, not I, not I”,
then howled “I left her ‘lone!”
as fury claimed his eye!
stole her fire,
for she loved me, he claimed her liar,
so stabbed her to the bone
and left her here to die!”
Open mouthed and heart now breaking,
my soul found strength to ask,
“why is it you that must be making
this penance walk and sorrowed task?”
He hung his head
in heartsick dread,
“I found him, but I left him dead,
so in that one life’s taking,
I claim my sorrow’s mask.”
The echoed dawn gave way to night
as one last step to silence fled,
leaving me with empty fright
and breaking heart for love here bled.
Now evening’s fears
return in tears
as shadowed footsteps count the years,
and I my sorrow fight,
as through each dusk I’m led.