True Story #3: Missing
First a foot, then the whole body
found wedged upside-down behind
a tall bookcase,
a young woman missing in a home
she shared with her family
most of her life.
Eleven days misplaced, the police surmised
she simply fell over trying to adjust
a television plug behind the shelves—
Simply, as if she disappeared
to that land of lost socks and
and could be retrieved
simply by believing it so.
Her sister passed her bedroom
without stopping to look
but could not put her finger
on that unfamiliar odor
soaking the house in loss.
It doesn’t matter, at this point,
if they believed it was a kidnapping,
or death or escape.
Only the following remains:
a little thing miscalculated, collapsed,
and gave way. What new fear
will guide their silent house at night—
her absence pinned against a plaster wall.
In the end, it wasn’t enough
to see her every day,
to love her silence and her shaky grace.
They seem convinced of
a quiet so deep
even common sense can’t intrude on it.
Every now and then, I write stories based on news events. Currently, this one is running on CNN.com. Also in the series are True Story and True Story #2: Devotion. Feels goos to write about people outside of my family. Constructive feedback is welcome.