The Missing Children
Their faces stare up
at me from the side
of cereal boxes,
from blue stamped
Have you seen
And now the age-enhanced
five years later,
with longer bones,
a futile hope,
for we know that they are
part of the forest ground,
where their hair and nails grow
Or they have gone
through the Pied Piper’s door
in some mountain,
living in bondage,
If Memory Serves Me
If Memory serves me,
she’s falling down on the job.
Very slow to retrieve,
from the crevices in the upholstery,
the names of students I taught last year.
Sloppy about dusting off
my awareness of things to be done.
She skips the sticky places of regret on the floor,
the wallet left behind in the ladies room.
She makes me travel the stairs twice,
and deserts me when I reach the top.
Not until the gnats cloud my face in the garden
does she show me the bug spray
still back in my closet.
She’s getting less reliable each year.
Slow-moving and ponderous,
she shuffles along the corridor,
thick-legged, swaying into the wall.