Malaika Albrecht, “How to Be Haunted”

Malaika Albrecht

Drink dandelion tea at night
and dream of the wind
that sends seeds too far away to gather again.
Braid snakes into your hair,
throw rose petals into the river,
and watch how all things are lost to water.
The ghost says, Here are the keys
to your new life. Open the door.
See how each room’s the same
but different. The light all wrong,
too bright. Try to hold onto a corner,
a slightly darker place to paint yourself in.

Author’s Comments: These poems are from a manuscript I’m still working on. Almost two years ago, we moved onto a 14 acre farm, and in the woods, we created horse paths for trail rides. In doing so, we discovered a small cemetery with grave markers from the mid-1800’s and a barred owl’s favorite roost above these graves. My daughters and I started making up stories about the lives of those buried there, and I thought I would write about that. However, with the recent deaths of my mom, former father-in-law, and a divorce, the poems had other ideas about ghosts, hauntings and visitations.

Bio: Malaika King Albrecht is the author of three poetry books. Her most recent book What the Trapeze Artist Trusts (Press 53) won honorable mention in the Oscar Arnold Young Award and was a finalist in 2012 Next Generation Indie Book Awards. Her chapbook Lessons in Forgetting was published by Main Street Rag and was a finalist in the 2011 Next Generation Indie Book Awards and received honorable mention in the Brockman Campbell Award. Main Street Rag also published her second book Spill in 2011. Her poems have been published in many literary magazines and anthologies and nominated for Pushcarts. Her poems have won awards in several contests, including at Poetry Southeast, the North Carolina Poetry Council, Salem College and Press 53. She’s the founding editor of Redheaded Stepchild, an online magazine that only accepts poems that have been rejected elsewhere. She lives in Ayden, N.C. with her family and is a therapeutic riding instructor.

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