Something Follows

We walk in winterbare sunbright woods
a winding path that skirts fallen trees
sprawling bramble thickets
and forms its own linear ponds
where frogs protest our passage

I hear a clinking
high pitched, sharp, intermittent
and somewhere behind

Nothing in our gear is metallic and loose
I hear the noise, but he doesn’t
when I stop to listen, he is confused
stumbles into me
our path follows a millennium-old ditch
and I begin to suspect the noise comes from there
but the ditch contains only brown beech leaves

When we stop, the clinks stop
When we walk once more
clink clink clink after a small wait

Sun shafts through clawing branches
strange rustles lurk under leafdrifts
our pleasant walk reforms
mutates
into else and other

The clinks are always there
as long as we are beside the ditch
always
something follows

Copyright © 2022 Kim Whysall-Hammond

A real-life ghost story, shared for the open link weeked at Earthweal.

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16 thoughts on “Something Follows

  1. I love the way the first stanza paints such a clear, beautiful picture…..the clinking is very eerie. This reminds me of a true story a friend of mine wrote about how she and her husband were in the wilderness, carrying backpacks……..when she heard a strange humming – they began to look everywhere trying to find the source, pondering whether it may be from extraterrestrials….when she suddenly realized the humming was coming from his pack – it was his electric toothbrush. LOL.

    Liked by 1 person

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