imageKelley White
Without a Trace

My mother said, we lost him, as if he were
the car keys, as if he were a lucky penny fallen
between the cushions of the couch, as if he’d wandered
off at dawn in his night shirt with frazzled hair
looking for a place to hide and sneak
a cigarette and even now men were beating
the bushes from Hatch Drive
to Wilson’s field calling; as if he’d left us
for some mistress, some other family he’d kept
secret ‘til this morning when they needed him
more than we did, his body gone already
to the morgue—vanished, not a finger
print left on the door knob, not a single white
hair, lost,  like a losing hand
at poker, like a button popped
from a vest, like a missing pair of cuff-links,  
like one mitten in a pair and I’d have to keep
the other hand in my pocket all winter, lost,
like his eagle scout badge I dropped
somewhere on the mountain, lost,
as if he were the dog coaxed away
with a marrow bone, as if you were a bad bet, she says

you’re lost, lost, as if she’d stapled fliers
to telephone poles, left them at the supermarket,
where even now people are tearing off
the little slips with our phone number
and any day now will be calling with good news.