The Call

A poem by John Frederick Freeman

Is it the wind that stirs the trees,
Is it the trees that scratch the wall,
Is it the wall that shakes and mutters,
Is it a dumb ghost's call?

The wind steals in and twirls the candle,
The branches heave and brush the wall,
But more than tree or wild wind mutters
This night, this night of all.

"Open!" a cry sounds, and I gasp.
"Open!" and hands beat door and wall.
"Open!" and each dark echo mutters.
I rise, a shape and shadow tall.

"Open!" Across the room I falter,
And near the door crouch by the wall;
Thrice bolt the door as the voice mutters
"Open!" and frail strokes fall.

"Open!" The light's out, and I shrink
Quaking and blind against the wall;
"Open!" no sound is, yet it mutters
Within me now, this night of all.

Was it the wind that stirred the trees,
Was it the trees that scratched the wall,
Was it the wall that shook and muttered.
Or Love's last, ghostly call?

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