The Ghosts of New Year’s Eve

I see more ghosts
on New Year’s Eve
than through
all of Halloween.

All Hallow’s Eve
is like a tourist town,
one the living
invade once a year.

The dead enjoy
the attention, sure,
but soon they wish
we’d go away.

No, New Year’s Eve
is far worse haunted,
because they gather
around the lights

and across the gap
of tears and sighs
they watch us plan,
and vow, and live.

You can feel them
best at midnight,
if you try, if you listen –
mouthing our promises,

sad and hungry eyes
reflecting the cycle
of hopes and regrets,
seeing all the mistakes

they would gladly make
again, if only.
Just…
If.

Yes, the dead are close
on New Year’s Eve.
So as you toast, count
the faces in the glass,

and if you see
some you’ve lost,
don’t be sad, or afraid –
just raise your glass

and plan,
and vow,
and live.

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