The real witching hour
comes at 3:00 am. At least
that’s when my ghosts detach
themselves from shadows
dive into my dreams.

Sometimes they remain there
swirl memories, paint my sleep
in images of the living and the dead
whisper secrets I half-forget 
before I brew my coffee.

Sometimes they wake me 
gently, a kiss on the cheek, 
my mother’s voice murmuring
warm spot on the pillow
where a cat used to sleep.

And then, on nights like this,
they scream me awake 
tell me Run! I jolt up, pulse
pounding, relieved
that I escaped.