The wood is haunted.
Dead children play there,
and you hear them laugh,
—but not in fun—as
they flit through trees:
girls in floating white dresses,
boys in short pants.
In the background, a cello
in a minor key, bow scraping—
or perhaps it’s the wind.
Below, the lonely houses
huddle together, cold and dark,
trying not to attract the attention
of the ghost hound at the ridge.
This pathway is forbidden, foreboding,
and at the crack of a branch,
you whirl, eyes wide, breath harsh,
looking for that one thing
you will not see
over your shoulder.
Anne Britting Oleson has been published widely on four continents. She earned her MFA at the Stonecoast program of USM. She has published two chapbooks, The Church of St. Materiana (2007) and The Beauty of It (2010). A third chapbook, Planes and Trains and Automobiles, is forthcoming from Portent Press (UK), and a novel, The Book of the Mandolin Player, is forthcoming from B Ink Publishing—both in 2015.