Front Porch

When I get a massage
I am polite
but quiet
because in the past
I have made the mistake
of being too friendly
and inquisitive
and hearing too much troubling
information about a person
who was supposed to be
helping me relax

Chida is my massage therapist now
She is usually polite and quiet too

Last week she was
bubbling over
with excitement
because she and her five-year-old
daughter are going back
to Thailand for a month

Chida said she has to go
so her whole family
can participate in the rituals
to say goodbye to her father
who died several months ago
but who neighbors say
they have seen
sitting on his front porch

Chida’s mother told her
“You have to come home
or your father’s spirit
will be stuck here.”

“Miss Betsy,” Chida said to me.
“Do you believe in ghosts?”


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