It’s easy to assume the ghosts
travel through London on the tube –
they seldom do, preferring to avoid
close contact with the living
though all the time they think
about the ones they left behind.
The ghosts prefer to move like ink
leaking through the streets.
Sometimes they find Thames Water
excavating drains and their journey is delayed.
Reading the sign Thank You For Your Patience
the ghosts smile and take out the book
they carry for such times:
1000 Places You Should Have Seen Before You Died.
Once, like mountaineers, they’d break bones
to reach somewhere they didn’t need to be.
Now they carry an empty diary
in the old briefcase they used at school.
Country walks are what the ghosts dread most,
knowing they won’t hear boots on stony ground.
Young ghosts have the right idea –
finding the top of a soft green hill and rolling down.