Simon Rae

There's a missing person in everyone,

a draft dodger, truant, man on the run,


deserter, defaulter, garden fence vaulter,

an into the wide blue yonder absconder,


and I found mine, or he found me,

and together we sauntered out for a paper


or a carton of milk that wasn't needed

to match the one that would turn to cheese


while the cheese beside it turned slowly green,

leaving the bed unmade and the garden unseeded


and a bit of a mystery to explain.

The wagging tongues went worrying back


to the gap in the hedge and the hole in the fence

and to how they'd somehow always suspected


there was more to the case than met the eye

and if only they'd known as they walked the dog


or pushed the buggy round the block

that that was the definitive last Good Evening


it would have been easier making sense

of what they now saw was a chain of events...


Meanwhile smoke rings float to the ceiling

prompting this out of body sensation


that I'm looking down on a pile of clothing

artistically folded there on the shingle


and thinking how I'd left my life

like a field of snow which a confident witness


would swear blind he'd seen me cross

yet find, when he came to prove his point,


no tracks to show in the unblemished whiteness...