I was pacing around The Valley again
when I saw a hospital worker approach
a patient who was talking to himself.
They started talking as I eavesdropped.
She asked who he was talking to.
He explained he was reliving times
spent with his friends who weren’t there.
As if he was trying to summon them back.
She excitedly asked if regularly spoke
to ghosts and spirits of dead relatives.
That did not seem exciting or appropriate
for a mental health worker to ask a patient.
She said she was always interested
that there might be spirits lurking.
Lost souls walking the halls,
and visiting with patients.
But, maybe the dead were here
before the hospital was built,
and the living are the trespassers.
This is the Valley, afterall. The shadow
of death. Perhaps, we are the spirits
or the ghosts, wandering the corridors,
hoping to get well and…
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