The Whisperers, by E. F. Schraeder
Listen! That still, silent ache
bristles like pins to the skin.
No wanderlust or pang will answer
those dimmed daylight ghosts.
They follow, quiet on the path
behind each step. They unlock
insecurities of your hushed words,
choked in the mouth like smoke.
With patience, they press into your routines.
They never panic. Stealth become tool,
your smile cracks, doubt glistens in the eyes.
They feed on sudden confusion. They wait.
These old shadow creatures cling
wait in the wings of each life,
hover with nasty scolding hints, insinuations.
Self doubt. They extol brooding judgments
one at a time to watch you fall.
Author of a poetry chapbook, Schraeder holds an interdisciplinary Ph.D., teaches and works at a library part time. Schraeder’s work has appeared in Dark Moon Digest, Allegro, Four Chambers, Glitterwolf, Slink Chunk Press, Hoax, the HWA Poetry Showcase, vol. III, and other journals and anthologies. Find more online at www.efschraeder.com