Did you know that the New Jersey State Police website has a Missing Persons
page? I learned this in obsessively reading about the John Fiocco disappearance at TCNJ
The Missing Persons aspect is what's most haunting. No closure to be had, just an endless mental struggle between pragmatism and hope. Just fragments: a birthmark, shirt color, last known whereabouts... sometimes an age-advanced drawing. Some have whole paragraphs--life stories painted into tiny text boxes. Some have the jewelry they were wearing, identifying birthmarks. Some were too small to have paragraphs.
Where do the families shelve their suspended emotions? What story must you tell yourself to put one foot in front of the other each morning?"The Sixth of January"
by David Budbill
The cat sits on the back of the sofa looking
out the window through the softly falling snow
at the last bit of gray light.
I can't say the sun is going down.
We haven't seen the sun for two months.
I am sitting in the blue chair listening to this stillness.
The only sound: the occasional gurgle of tea
coming out of the pot and into the cup.
How can this be?
Such calm, such peace, such solitude
in this world of woe.
"in celebration of surviving"
by Chuck Miller
when senselessness has pounded you around the ropes
and you're getting too old to hold out for the future
no work and running out of money,
and then you make a try after something that you know you won't get
and this long shot comes through on the stretch
in a photo finish of your heart's trepidation
then for a while
even when the chill factor of these prairie winters puts it at fifty below
you're warm and have that old feeling
of being a comer, though belated
in the crazy game of life
standing in the winter night
emptying the garbage and looking at the stars
you realize that although the odds are fantastically against you
when that single January shooting star
flung its wad in the maw of night
it was yours
and though the years are edged with crime and squalor
that second wind, or twenty-third
is coming strong
and for a time
perhaps a very short time
one lives as though in a golden envelope of light