Aphelion Issue 275, Volume 26
August 2022
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A Warning

by Bruce Whealton

I write this
as a source
of warning.
You’ve seen them
just as I have.

Vampires walk Franklin Street,
in Chapel Hill,
like any other street
in any other city or town.

Don’t be fooled
by superstition
or expectations…
(or completely reject
the possibility of
the supernatural)
They walk the streets
day and night.
They look like
you and me.

Yet they are different…
and what signs
should you notice?
Perhaps, you’ve been
to a wake
and looked into the casket
and known that
your loved one,
the person you had known
was not there.
While no one can see
the soul,
we can know
of its absence.

I’ve felt that guilt
you might feel
when encountering
one of them.
I’ve been taught to believe
to see the Divine,
God or Jesus,
in everyone
and yet, I’ve known
that sometimes
in some persons
it just isn’t there
and I’ve wondered
“How can I love
one of these?”

Your own skepticism
they use to their advantage.
And they know
what we hunger for
and need -
tools they use
in some hypnotic
alluring way.

© 2010 Bruce Whealton

Bruce Whealton has been the co-editor and publisher of Word Salad Poetry Magazine since 1995 and their newest publication, Haiku Ramblings. They publish both on the web at WordSaladPoetryMagazine.com and in print. Bruce has a Bachelors Degree from Georgia Institute of Technology and a Master's Degree in Social Work. He has been writing and studying poetry for many years with various mentors. His poetry has been published recently in The Horror Zine, and the associated Anthology called “And Now the Nightmare Begins: The Horror Zine. His poems have also appeared in “lines written w/a razor,” “Childe Bryde,” “lunatic chameleon,” “the thin edge of staring, “Chance Magazine,” Venus Rising, the Wilmington Star News' Port City Poets, and “Gravity Hill,” and “Simple Vows Anthology” which is put out by St. Andrews College Press.

Find more by Bruce Whealton in the Author Index.

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