The creaking door, long shuttered,
swings, gaping, on heavy hinges as
red rusted nails in gray rotted plank
give and groan and–purchase lost–
pull free from their hollowed pores.
Beyond, jagged glass in the storm door
falls and shatters on cement, and
a biting Autumn wind teases the frame,
wrenching it free, only to let it crash again,
the echoed explosion like sinister laughter.
Laughter of ghosts thought banished
reverberates off walls at lunatic angles.
Their mouths open, their eyes wide,
their long cold fingers caress my cheek.
And I laugh with them. And I scream.
“There are no such things as ghosts!”
About the PTSD Poem
The above poem does not come from personal experience, but is a simple reflection on what I imagine it might be like to be haunted by the condition. I wrote this piece years ago and briefly published it on a private blog. When I decided to close that blog for good, I rescued this poem and “A Little Twilight Music” for posterity, and because I like them.
If you suffer from PTSD, there are resources available to you. If you are a military veteran, there’s the National Center for PTSD. If you are non-military, you should find a local therapist you can trust. More information about PTSD is available at the National Institute of Mental Health.