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Online Ghost

Words and Music © 2007 by Tom Smith
Released under a Creative Commons Noncommercial ShareAlike license
Not a lot to explain about this one, really: this story hit me right between the eyes.

You never really could explain
Why you shipped off to Hell.
Now every day, the same refrain,
He served his country well.
I tried to set aside my rage
I tried to let it be,
But one day I found the wrong web page
And saw you smile at me.

An electric echo is all that's there
And all that I'll prob'ly get
And I didn't expect I'd have to share
You with the internet.
This isn't what I wanted, but it's
More than most,
How long will I be haunted by your
Online ghost?

The tinny speakers began to blare
An Alan Jackson song.
There were pictures of you over there
Like nothing had gone wrong
A blog about where you had been,
As much as was allowed,
Of how you'd soon be going in
To make all of us proud.

Your voice and smile are frozen there
Where anyone can see.
Even if I could, would it be fair
To keep you just for me?
We hadn't talked in your last days, but now I've
Got this post,
A fluke of the MySpace maze got me your
Online ghost.

Of course I really have no choice,
I go back now and then,
To see your face, to hear your voice,
To just remember when.
I used to fear you were alone
Wherever you might be,
But now I fear that you have grown
Your own community.

Every day another joins the ranks
Of pages that won't change.
Some people say I should give thanks
For that much, but that's deranged.
'Cause to have you here with me is what I
Want the most,
The world will never see more than your
Online ghost.

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