by Simon Rae

There’s a missing person in everyone,
a draft dodger, truant, man on the run,
deserter, defaulter, garden fence vaulter,
an into the wide blue yonder absconder,
and I found mine, or he found me,
and together we sauntered out for a paper
or a carton of milk that wasn’t needed
to match the one that would turn to cheese
while the cheese beside it turned slowly green,
leaving the bed unmade and the garden unseeded
and a bit of a mystery to explain.
The wagging tongues went worrying back
to the gap in the hedge and the hole in the fence
and to how they’d somehow always suspected
there was more to the case than met the eye
and if only they’d known as they walked the dog
or pushed the buggy round the block
that that was the definitive last Good Evening
it would have been easier making sense
of what they now saw was a chain of events…
Meanwhile smoke rings float to the ceiling
prompting this out of body sensation
that I’m looking down on a pile of clothing
artistically folded there on the shingle
and thinking how I’d left my life
like a field of snow which a confident witness
would swear blind he’d seen me cross
yet find, when he came to prove his point,
no tracks to show in the unblemished whiteness…