Missing Person
by Michael Brett

There are no roses at the end,
No raised glasses, no speeches,
As a missing person makes the world lighter,
Leaves everyone with a kind of debt.

A name that has no-one floats away
Like a dropped holiday photograph
Of no-one waving from lost blue seas.

A ghost's bedroom is guarded like a prince's,
By mothers, wives, and soldier ranks
Of empty suits and empty shoes.
A ghost has an answering machine but no home,

The parabolas of jets and bombs,
Lead to a new geological age, to fossil lives.
They leave no place, no centre, for love to go to;
Love can just catch trains of half-remembered conversations
That lead only to pictures of a ghost.

Firemen, soldiers, the inquiring spades that probe as shrapnel,
Police dogs. These are guests at a kind of wedding
Where ghost and man fuse.

Behind Police Line Don't Cross tapes,
A policewoman with his wallet blots out the sun.

Published November, 2011 in Heroes: 100 Poems from the New Generation of War Poets
UK Hardbound Edition   UK Digital Edition

Copyright © 2009 - Michael Brett
Published: 9/17/09   ·  Author's Page   ·  Next Poem