*From my poetry collection, All the Words in Between
The search party found her under
the crunch of autumn oak leaves. Rigor mortis
set in three weeks ago.
she was filed next to Bella in the Witch Elm—
and other mysteries. She’ll adjust to tight spaces
and purgatory silence.
After the autopsy,
even the anchor woman shrugged. Everyone
followed suit, except for the shadow who defaced
brick walls with accusations.
Three months later,
another college student left a party and never
made it across her front lawn. She too entered her
very own cold case as the town buzzed around
her bruises and hammer-stained flesh.
Finally, my daughter was left alone so I could console
her soundlessly. But sometimes,
neighbors remember, and frown:
“I’m so sorry…but you found closure, so it’s better now.”
(No. It’s not.)