Lines for Jean Rhys’s Ghost – a poem by Jack B. Bedell

Lines for Jean Rhys’s Ghost

“Well, sometimes it’s a fine day, isn’t it? Sometimes the sky is blue.
Sometimes the air is light, easy to breathe. And there is always tomorrow…”
—Jean Rhys, Good Morning, Midnight

May every window you pass let in
a light, Caribbean breeze, and on it
the voice of God floating

through a sentence you’ve written.
May every table you choose
be the best in the place,

with a fresh highball at your fingertips
and endless plates of food delivered
right before you ask for anything.

May you feel free to think of air,
if air is on your mind, or not think
at all. Dance and laugh and enjoy

the moon’s reflections on the sea,
tell stories about just that, and know
whatever hands touch you now

will be as gentle as you wish them to be.


Jack B. Bedell is Professor of English at Southeastern Louisiana University where he edits Louisiana Literature and directs the Louisiana Literature Press. Jack’s work has appeared in PidgeonholesThe ShoreEcoTheoThe HopperTerrain, and other journals. His latest collection is No Brother, This Storm. He served as Louisiana Poet Laureate 2017-2019.

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