Advice to a Wraith

David W. Landrum

There needs no ghost, my lord, come from the grave
To tell us this.
                                                                             — Hamlet

We need no ghost come from the grave to tell
us politicians lie, lovers are false;
no wraith from purgatory or from hell
informing us life will be filled with loss,
children will disappoint us or the church
is rife with hypocrites; that our best friends
will swindle us and leave us in the lurch,
betray us and then never make amends.

If you come from the pit, a residue
of sulfur on your skin, we pray don’t waste
our time. We’re busy. Sure, we’ll talk to you,
a messenger, unhouseled, and un-graced.
But be worth hearing or return below.
And tell us things we don’t already know.
David W. Landrum teaches Creative Writing and Literature at Cornerstone University in Grand Rapids, Michigan.  He has published in numerous journals, including Measure, Evansville Review, and The Formalist.  He edits the on-line journal Lucid Rhythms,