No Ghost Goes Unnoticed by M. Drew Williams



No sooner had I emerged,
pulled out by my ankles,
born bedraggled with gunk,

than did my mother
dub me her ‘little deserter.’

As a child I learned to walk and
thereby, learned to walk away.

I recognized as a young man
that a loyalty to leaving meant
having no loyalty at all;

I left lovers and family alike—
remorseless and without a word.

They attribute my flaw of leaving
to being born feet first.


On what wasn’t night
but rather a wounded day
eclipsed by bandages,

as I sat on the front steps
of a church with an exterior

suggesting that it had
championed through many

uncharitable weather
changes, its chapel
existing in the same cruel

sky in which the sun used
to churn, on a scrap of paper

I jotted down an elegy for
daytime; dead from its injuries.


A hospital room partitioned
in the center by a curtain—
In the first half of the room,
garbed in a gray-dotted gown,
I recline catawampus on a bed
covered with crumpled white paper.
My leg is dressed with gauze
dappled with blots of drying blood.
All that I can see of the second half
of the room is a silhouette,
cast upon the curtain, of a doctor,
among others, as he declares
the death of the patient
in the bed next to mine.
Relying on the accuracy
of his wristwatch, the doctor
instructs one of his colleagues
to document the time of death:
seven past one, he says.
In front of me, the clock on the wall
reads five past. On my side of the curtain
that patient might still be alive.

“Breech” first appeared in Literary Orphans;  “An Elegy for Daytime” first appeared in The Fat City Review; “Curtain” first appeared in Dead Flowers: A Poetry Rag.

M. Drew WilliamsM. Drew Williams is a poet from Western New York. His poems have appeared in a variety of publications. He is infatuated with brevity.


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