• Vol. 03
  • Chapter 04
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Those Not Here Any More

Their daughter is missing.
See it in her eyes, askance
as they grew into as habit from not long
ago, the weeks after her youngest left.

He knows forthright, straight
at you as the way to handle herding dogs,
daughters, dawn, and raccoons
clawing at the chicken coop.

He cannot yield over what he said
to the girl who sought the dancing,
lights, late night rides to town
so much to climb out windows.

He is so certain of what he knows.
She wishes her daughter knew
how his kindness burned away
in drought, bad seed, and the boy

who left first, after stealing
from the lawyer’s office in town.
She loves her husband still
as women come to know men

over the long haul.