We never speak of them but we know they're there.
All of us.
They sit down with us at breakfast.
Drape their hollowed arms around us.
Kick up their feet of bones.
And laugh at our hollowed jokes.
When company comes, they pull up a chair.
Stare in the eyes of our loved ones, daring them to speak.
Daring them to acknowledge the presence of the walking dead.
They take our lead and remain silent, focused on the much less real human interaction.
You don't have to look too hard for them.
They make their presence known.
You can see their reflections in our perfectly polished furniture.
In the dishwater in the sink.
In the faces of our children.
They do not hide.
Sometimes they lurk in corners, quiet.
Other times they lay across our laps on the couch, unapologetic.
And why should they apologize?
We invite them to stay.
Never ask them to leave.
As long as we don't have to engage, they are free to haunt us.
Free to dance around our home.
Free to make this home their own.
All in their presence.
Always in their presence.
Remaining in the home that feels more like theirs than our own.
Where else would we go?