We Live Among Ghosts – a poem by E. Martin Pedersen

We Live Among Ghosts

We live among ghosts
We prefer their company
Ghosts love us more
God loves us
Jesus loves us
Mary loves us
The evangelists too
The disciples too —
undecided about Judas,
The saints and popes for sure
Lots of dead people love us
We believe only
love outlasts death
trickles down to us
through limestone
fills our pure wells
We all need this liquid
Sing it, dance it
Breathe it, drink it in
Allah, Buddha, Shiva
Adam and Eve, uh
Even Killer Cain loves us
Everybody loves us
Doesn’t it feel good?

Okay, your sister won’t speak to you
about that thing that happened at Christmas
plus, Mom had post-partum depression from
your birth through graduation
Mark, your colleague, that deserved the
promotion you got by blowing
the boss and several more
but there’s comfort available
if you know where to look —
Look to the ghosts

My grandfather taught me to shine shoes
That girl I kissed once got killed
One of my ancestors was a slave
Singing sad slow songs
I love all the ghosts
that I carry with me always
Jimi, Janis, Lennon, Marley
John Kennedy, the president

and Marilyn
in my house all the time
in her silk robe Geisha-style
She says, “Come to me and open wide …
Oh, my wife
doesn’t act or dress like Marilyn
plus, I’m not sure she really loves me

With that love genuine and simple
warm and ecstatic
like Mary and Jesus
all the saints and popes
all the beautiful ghosts.


E. Martin Pedersen, originally from San Francisco, has lived for over 35 years in eastern Sicily, where he teaches English at the local university. His poetry has appeared in The James Dickey Review, Ink in Thirds, Mused, Oddville, Former People, The Bitchin’ Kitsch and others. Martin is an alum of the Squaw Valley Community of Writers. He blogs at: emartinpedersenwriter.blogspot.it

1 Comment

  1. Mark Tulin says:

    Really enjoyed this beautifully-done poetic frolic in ghostdom.


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