My mother liked to walk the hallways of
the picket house my father built for her.
She’d pace and pace the wooden floors above
while below, in the dark, I’d toss and turn.
The house, she said, spoke in his absent voice
and so she’d listen for his every breath
certain it was him each foot-fall and noise
until she followed him into her death.
The creaking used to scare me in my bed
until I caught her floating back and forth.
My ghost was only memories, she said,
she’d weep until she found him after earth.
Every house, I think, has different creaks
that the lonely left-behind learn to speak.
Addison Rizer is an administrator in Arizona with a B.A. in English from Arizona State University. She has had pieces published in Taco Bell Quarterly, Typehouse Magazine, Hoosier Review, Little Somethings Press, Hashtag Queer Vol. 3, and Canyon Voices. She loves writing, reading, and movies critics hate. Find more of her work on her website at www.addisonrizer.com.