Tuesday, July 24, 2007

The Missing Persons




No one’s certain where they go;
that much, at least, is sure;
exactly what they can’t endure
detectives rarely get to know.

Their photos overflow our files,
which hardly matters—these are faces
citizens can always place,
but haven’t seen in quite awhile.

They go for cigarettes, a drink,
or just to walk, have a think,
a quick breath of evening air,
then no one sees them anywhere.

Small wonder. They’re anyone,
nothing much to catch the eye
but portable oblivion
no witness can identify.

Small potatoes. Millions sit.
Legions disappear in place;
they never leave, simply quit,
staring into middle space

while newly solitary kin
attend to folds of empty skin.
We need a Bureau of the Blank,
a Mostly Missing Persons tank,

where armies of psychologists
can puzzle out the mental twists
of those who leave, but fail to go,
familiar faces no one knows.

Here’s to those who hide and hare,
who pack their kit and catch a train,
spare their families the pain
they cause by simply being there.

4 comments:

Absolute Vanilla (and Atyllah) said...

Almost speechless - poignant, that, slightly whimsical too, makes one think... Lots of missing children here, but they don't take the train... they get taken...

Minx said...

Sometimes I can understand why.

pundy said...

That's witty and scary at the same time. Very original made me smile at the cleverness but still left me thinking.

Wanderlust Scarlett said...

Wow. That's so good.
As always.

I LOVE the train tracks picture, that's wonderful. I'd walk down that for a while.

"...folds of empty skin" quite poignant.

Thank you

Scarlett & Viaggiatore