Her house was a shadow

Pressed against an oil-streaked sky


As if it edged against a mass of inverted stars

Inside, I remember only drab greys

Sparse, worn furnishings

Snapshots from another era

I came with two of my cousins

Sequestered in the living room

Without a television

In the sickly glow of gaslights

The rest of the house was even darker

As if it had been consumed

By the ghost of her dead husband


One night on a dare

I slipped into back of the house

Mrs. Whitman was creaking slowly up the stairs

She rarely spoke and wore her features lifeless

I tried to steal a glance up into her bedroom

But darkness swathed the doorway

Like open-armed wraiths


That night felt different

Particularly sinister

I ran back to the living room

And wrapped myself

In the abysmal warmth of overly starched sheets

Pressed in a palate with my cousins


After that night

I never saw Mrs. Whitman again

My parents told me

She’d fallen from her bedroom window

Startled by a rat

But I know the truth…


(I feel awful today so I don’t know if I will be as prolific as usual but I did manage to write this. Its a true story but since I was so young its obviously been embellished with my fear!)


22 thoughts on “Mrs. Whitman

  1. “Her house was a shadow

    Pressed against an oil-streaked sky”

    this is a great descriptive line. but the memory is definitely a frightening one!

  2. I read this fast at first, then I went back and read it slowly. WoW! This is quite powerful and a frightening memory at that.

    You penned it beautifully.
    Thanks for sharing.

  3. “but i know the truth”…..

    this line reminds me of the movie title “Don’t Say A Word” with an equally interesting tagline “I’ll Never Tell”…

    an interesting story….great, brilliant poem πŸ™‚

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