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Fourplex Phantom

By John I. Blair

The ghost dog didnít scare them.

Oh the click of tiny toenails
On the bare oak,
The double dimple on the quilt
Tautened follicles no doubt.

An oddity, the fourplex,
Quartets of tiny homes
Lined up beneath a single roof,
Compromise for those
Who shun apartments
But canít afford a house.

This one, like all the others
In 1950s Wichita,
Wore a brick veneer faÁade
And seemed to have no history
Of doors that drifted open
On dry hinges, no one there;
No bloodstained floors
That would not clean,
No icy drafts in empty rooms.

Up to the bedside
It came, paused;
They felt
Quite distinctly the quilt shift,
Saw impressions on the cloth.

Then gone, no growls, no threat,
No touch.

The dog was not the scare
That made them move next day.

It was the whistle down the hall.

©2009 John I. Blair


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