Editors Pick

Why you need to have a happy workforce

8th March 2024

Friday poem: Omar Sabbagh’s ‘The Ghost’

The Ghost


In the corner of the room

a cheap white frame; the picture inside

shows an aged man, minted there

with a brimming sense of achievement, calmed

by a certain slow and quiet pride.

My daughter kisses the picture

now and then, scurrying to that small corner

whenever trouble threatens.


The man there has seen it all before,

how each one of us holds his own white sky,

letting it fold upwards into each one of his own dark eyes;

how each one of us elides the fateful missive sent

him, an opened secret from above or below;

how each one of us living speaks

in stillness to himself as though he were a ghost

already, a spirit seeking to prick the fabric

of the world he’s left behind,

hoping to needle the place it was that long ago

he’d signed with departure.


And between the two,

this framed wiseacre and my daughter,

I see my life past each day’s silent slaughter

turn in style between white and grey,

framed by the two known sides of love.


Omar Sabbagh


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