To the Sound of the Pile Driver

You know who got lost? It was people,

falling through the cracks, failing to show

up, not being where  you thought they were

when you needed them or at least wanted

to look them up. She’d given it a lot of

thought over the years, reunions and such,

how the wrong list showed up on the e-mail

and you were left wondering about the ones

that got away both literally and figuratively.


What was strange was that for those she

couldn’t find, she still had pieces: parts of them

like plants grown from slips on countertops or

that spindly cathedral cactus she could never

kill obviously from a lack of water. There were

books and pairs of earrings, the occasional

necklace or even a fancy scarf, not to mention

those plaque things with the motivational

sayings. It wasn’t for lack of appreciation that


she wanted to disavow them, but that they

weren’t real. You couldn’t hold a good conversation

with a ceramic planter, or the tulips she’d

turned out into the front garden. No, she

wanted to know about the actual flesh and

blood people she’d run up and down halls

with, stood on the fire-escapes with, and raced

across town, once two of them talking the cop

out of a ticket, giving the latest family emergency.


Did anyone miss her that way? She let herself

wonder every now and then before she sternly

returned to the mundane of her now life. Only

letting herself smell the hot leather of the volley

ball now and then, hear the other two when they

went to state trio, reprise night chats from her truly

best friends when she turned up pregnant at 18,

the no-shows who’d promised to come to the wedding.

Worst thing about losing people: you kept on looking.