Forties Girl by Andrea Quinlan

An old song plays

Is You Is, or Is You Ain’t

It asks a question plainly enough

Whether by accident or design

Those words were written during a war

They are not yours or mine to use

But still, they linger in the air

They sound from a crackling gramophone record

But really it is an iPod

These factors are distractions when the real question is

Contained in that song, after all

I wonder what’s the point of playing it?

When there is the spectre of another in the room

Who is flesh and blood

Whilst I am a ghost

I might be flesh and blood, after all

But a ghost dampens my spirits

Like the river water dampened her skirts as she floated

I will not sink into the depths

I would rather the romance of the song

The kind of spirit I could feel at home with

I would rather throw off those skirts and dance

So the answer to that question is that

No, you are welcome to that solid form

I will slip away underneath the doors

You may hold onto that form

If it turns out that question is mine alone


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