The Return

Written by: Heather Ober

The air is thick with memory -
A fog of reminiscence.
Or is it simply mist 
Rolling through the window? 
I feel the wind and taste the salt,
Hear the distant pulse of waves 
Keeping time, skipping beats
With my haunted heart.
The wind chimes sway and croon
From their place above the sill,
Where sand dollars still form a row
Among crumbs of sand.
And there, on the bedside table -
Speckled stones arranged just so.
And if I lift them, I know
I'll find dustless circles,
Halos from the past.
My vision blurs.
Then I see her in the doorway -
The ghost of childhood,
Twirling in a cloud of skirts,
Strings of seashells draped like gems
Around her fragile neck.
I blink - 
And she's gone.
But through the mist I hear  
The patter of bare feet
Down the empty hallway.