Lost Child – By John Grey

A child is lost in the woods.
The crows hear her cries.
But not you.
Then a child is lost in the playground
imagining the fast car
she will someday drive.
You walk by the slides, the swings,
see no one you recognize
on that blistering highway.
Children play at the ocean’s edge.
So many threats: rips, undercurrent,
tides, a hungry shark.
The woman in bikini
sprawled not ten feet from you,
tanning her body bronze,
could even devour them.
And they talk in whispers.
How stiff and awkward that makes you
as you struggle to overhear.
A few faces on milk cartons.
But so many, just as missing,
playing in their yards,
running in the streets,
peering out of school bus windows.
Crows perch on telephone wires,
caw loud raucous harmony.
We have your child, they say.
And it’s not even born yet.

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Australian born poet, US resident since late seventies. Works as financial systems analyst. Recently published in Slant, Briar Cliff Review and Albatross with work upcoming in Poetry East, Cape Rock and REAL.

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