Missing

by Carla Martin-Wood
If one day you were walking
down that beach you love,
and I slipped from your pocket,
quiet & casual
as a key, an extra subway token,
a secret candy bar

How long before you'd know
I'd gone missing?

Would you then retrace each step,
legs grown heavy with the drag
of sand & sea?

Search frantically
till only the bright moon
stayed behind to help?

Would you seek me in ruins of sandcastles?

In faint forgotten hieroglyphs
traced by piper and gull
at the edge of ephemeral foam?

Would you study bleached bones of driftwood,
cast runes of sea glass,
read signs in the inscrutable nightsky?

Would you search for me among other things abandoned,
vacant whorls of a conch shell,
empty netting of seaweed,
web of constellations
with its legion of lost gods?

Or would you find your morning run a little lighter,
stop briefly to buy forbidden candy,
scratch your head, wrinkle your brow,
try to shake the feeling
that you'd forgotten something?
Carla Martin-Wood’s new chapbook, Garden of Regret, has just been released from Pudding House Publications, and another chapbook, Redheaded Stepchild, is currently in production with Pudding House.  She will have poems included in two anthologies, Love Poems & Other Messages for Bruce Springsteen and Casting the Nines, both due for release in the fall.  A recent Pushcart Prize nominee, she has been widely published in print and online in the US and Ireland, including Oak Bend Review, Elk River Review, Rosebud, The Foliate Oak, The Lyric, and other journals.  Always a strong advocate for the spoken word, Carla serves as an in-house reader for Soundzine and maintains a virtual open mic at Smoky Joe’s Café on her website at The Well-ReadHead.

© 2009, Carla Martin-Wood