The Poetry Bar

In the shadows

Something lurks in the shadows
watching my every move.
Though I’ve never seen them,
I know they’re there,
a ghost of a memory
of a life that could have been.
It hates the happiness I found
when I chose another path
that led me to this moment.

I don’t think of her often,
an old flame now extinguished,
but sometimes I feel her hate
charging across the winds
to remind me of my transgressions
real and imagined.

The ghost remains out of sight,
keeping a faithful vigil,
watching for me to drop my guard
so it can use memory as a weapon
to destroy my present contentment
with a reminder of heartache caused
and the pain we both endured.
Sometimes it succeeds.
But as time goes on
and her memory fades away,
the ghost loses its power
and slips further into the shadows.

Joe Stout is a poet and the author of multiple compilations, including his most recent release Natural: Poems About Nature. He lives in the foothills of the Smoky Mountains with his fiancé, Anna; their overlord, Eddie the cat; and an overeager security team, Toby and Teagan (a min-pin and a daschund). When he’s not trying to find a way to use his writing talents to become insanely rich, Joe can be found exploring the mountains with bluegrass spilling out his car’s open windows or binging Netflix and Youtube.

In addition to his compilations, Joe’s poetry can be found on his website, He also has an Instragram, @jstoutwriting, and can be found on Facebook @Joe Stout Writing.


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