Sarabande Writing Labs is an arts education program serving under-resourced communities in Kentucky through creative writing workshops.
We at Sarabande Writing Labs were thrilled when Waggener High's after-school creative writing club invited us to come write poetry with them for an afternoon! We read Anna McDonald's awesome poem, "Horse Piano," (check it out here!) and talked about figurative expressions, specificity, suspense-building, and surprise. Then, working as a group, we wrote our own poem borrowing elements that we liked from "Horse Piano." Please enjoy "Ghost House," by the Waggener High School creative writing club!
The idea is to find an old house, a house
where somebody once died:
you draw a pentagram on the ground and burn
a white cylinder of sage
and when the ghost appears, carrying his
tattered leather suitcase
he will shake your hand and tell you
you are a good person
and six months later, when you can’t remember
whose ratty old t-shirt is whose or a time
you didn’t love him, he will tell you he must return
to the astral plane
and you will cover the walls with pentagrams
and fill the house with sage, its minty-sweet aroma
pouring from the windows
and you will light the house on fire
so that everyone will know how hard it is
to give up the ghost.