THE MISSING AND THE FOUND
by John Grey
There’s men still scouring the woods
for a young boy missing years ago.
It’s a ritual, a passion, an obsession, for some.
For others, it’s just something to do
on a warm, clear weekend.
That’s the background to our story.
That’s the familiar footfall
to our daily lives, the arguments,
the kisses, the meals, the games
of badminton in the backyard,
even the trips to the bathroom.
The family may hold together
only for the fact that we all share the same name
but I like to think that it’s the hunters
stomping through the pine forest
that do it for us,
their caring, in all its shapes and guises,
gluing together the homes they pass
in their inveterate seeking,
the ones that haven’t lost a child to the deep,
that don’t require a search party
for the boy who, under pressure,
admits his mother love
or the other for whom there’s no quest required,
merely a swift hand to the rear end
when he shoots the BB gun at passing cars.
They may never locate the body.
Maybe there isn’t one to find.
But there’s bodies aplenty in our house.
And when there’s people out looking,
then we’re never done finding.
This haunting poem is forthcoming in “The Santa Fe Literary Review.” We expect the magazine to be out by the start the fall semester at the latest–with a publication launch in the autumn.