Everything That Ever Haunted Us
By Ciara McKay
I wrote this poem while thinking about two of my favorite poets—Edna St. Vincent Millay, and Elizabeth Bishop, and the imagery they use. In this piece I hoped to follow in their footprints, and create something within their styles.
The azure sea trapped us here, A cruel and ruthless master A pocket watch, long broken and your mother’s ring Our only tools for survival. The lightbulb flickers, and there you are You and I, The lighthouse, And everything that ever haunted us. The waves crash over the decrepit sea wall We stare, hopelessly at the briny expanse. The lighthouse, once bright red, Stalks us, the bulb turning and flashing. I wonder who you were before You and I, The lighthouse, And everything that ever haunted us. You swear to me that you’ve seen ghosts, The men that were here before. You grip your mother’s ring, and pray. Breathless chanting, ritualistic. I ask if they answer you. You and I, The lighthouse, And everything that ever haunted us. The empty island, the stormy sea, The lighthouse, with it’s blinking eye. We hold our talismans Chant breathlessly And pray You and I, The lighthouse, And everything that ever haunted us.
Ciara McKay is a class of 2020 Girls Write Now mentee based in Brooklyn, NY.