G a r y   J .   W h i t e h e a d

 

Cold Case

 

The child I knew, who has been missing

for years, lies in a shallow not quite grave

in a not quite grove of not quite trees.

There, there is an earthy smell, a hissing

sibilance, like cottonwoods in a breeze

or a cloud of bats waking in a cave.

 

Sometimes there’s a rustling under my skin,

a not quite life beneath this not quite bark.

Up out of the deadwood, out of the doubt,

smooth and green and full of wonder again,

I can almost find what I want to shout,

the echo used to navigate the dark.