Monday Morning Musings:
“Do you remember when I was in your belly,
And I hiccupped,
And that made you laugh?”
My daughter was about three at the time
When she asked me this.
She was in the backseat of the car.
We were listening to The Sound of Music,
“Sixteen Going on Seventeen”
Because she thought Rolf was funny
In the movie—
That’s before he becomes a Nazi,
If you’re keeping track.
I was startled by the question
She so casually threw out to me
And soon forgot.
Could she have actually remembered
A time before she was born?
My older daughter and I sat at the breakfast table
And discovered we had had the same dream
The night before.
How is this possible?
I don’t have a clue.
And the dream itself is long gone,
Vanished into that gray mist
Of long lost thoughts.
I think it involved a flute,
But I could be wrong.
I should have written it down,
But I was not in the habit of recording things then.
I think of a young girl who
Decades ago now,
Recorded the her daily life
Living in a Secret Annex
With eight other people
For two years
Until they were discovered.
Despite the world crashing
She believed people were
Only her father lived
Through the horror though.
But her words remain.
Ghosts of a sort,
They conjure up the past
And people who exist now
Only in black and white images
And in her vivid descriptions.
I think about an episode of The Twilight Zone*—
A former S.S. Captain revisits
He is driven insane by the ghosts of the inmates
They try him for crimes against humanity.
I think of horrors and war crimes that still go on.
I wonder if the tormentors are ever tormented
And if they live in their own Twilight Zone hell.
I hope they do.
Is that wrong?
I read in the newspaper that Philadelphia
Is planning to celebrate a day of kindness.
Surely, that should be every day,
It is something.
Perhaps a truce for a day is better
Like the Christmas peace in the trenches
Ghosts of Christmas past, present, and future.
Did you know there was a spiritualism craze
In the nineteenth-century?
And séances in the White House?
Humans trying to make sense
Of the unknown.
I sometimes enjoy the tingle
Of reading fictional tales of haunted houses
And spectral beings who bump and thump
In the night.
But real life horror is different.
There are ghosts that I feel duty-bound
To try to make sense of.
There are many types of ghosts though.
Not only the tormented souls
Stuck in time and space
Unable to move
Or to find peace.
There are ghosts of our own pasts, too.
Some live as memories
In our hearts and minds
They bring us comfort,
Make us smile,
And they make me wonder.
*”Deaths-Head Revisited”(Season 3, Episode 9, written by Rod Serling, originally aired, November 10, 1961.)