haunted house by Nicole Deardorff

rk room alone abandoned house
Photo courtesy of Rachel Kertz

is this how
a haunted house feels?
the aching, resignation,
the constant longing
for freedom
all the wondering
if it will ever end,
all the wondering
what it did
to deserve the ghost

do they get annoyed
with everyone
who has heard of the
ghoul and come
tramping all
over them
Show me where it is
Prove it
then wishing
they never
had to know
the truth
do they get annoyed
with all the people
who storm off
when they don’t see it
all the people who
argue it is
only in the mind

is this how
a haunted house feels?

stripped bare, exposed,
displayed for all
to gawk at
invaded by strangers
trying to figure
the back story out,
but never understand
even when they see
the specter in the mirror

is this how
a haunted house feels?





Nicole Deardorff updatedNicole Deardorff is a 20-year-old queer actor, dancer, and writer. She began writing poetry as a way to stay sane. She isn’t sure how well that has worked, but she is at least still alive. Her writing has won multiple awards from Scholastic Art and Writing Competition, the most notable of which is a National Silver Metal in 2014. In 2013 she won the First Annual Mudsock Poetry Slam, and her poetry has been featured on Twenty-One Pearls, Words(on)Pages,and Degenerates: Voices for Peace. Check out more of her work at thewingedones.tumblr.com.

Rachel Kertz was born in a small town in Missouri in 1988. While earning her degree at Southeast Missouri State University, she became interested in photography and began using her commutes as excuses to go on long drives through the rural countrysides, hoping to find locations and abandoned houses to photograph. She hopes to convey relatable stories in her images that speak to her audience on themes such as loneliness, love, exploration, and the feeling of being alone in unconventionally beautiful places. You can find more of her work on Flickr.

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