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Missing People


Daniel Thomas Moran

‍On my television,

they're looking for

another missing person.

Way out in the desert

and in the woods

with dogs and

sharp sticks and

special cameras

which take pictures

at night.

Whole towns are looking.

In ponds and

along roadways,

in drainage ditches

and down in old wells.

They say that

they won't stop

until they find them,

even if they have

become just a pile

of chalky bones.

You can see

the photos of them

on power poles

all across America.

They look familiar,

as if we just

saw them behind us

at the supermarket

or sitting, reading

at the bus stop.

There is one in

my yard right now,

crouching behind

one of the shrubs.

When I asked,

they said they

prefer to be missing.

And who am I

to argue with them?

I was missing once.

There is something

to be said for it.

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Daniel Thomas Moran is the author of ten collections of poetry, the most recent of which, “A Shed for Wood” was published by Salmon Poetry in Ireland in 2014. He is the former poet laureate of Suffolk County, New York, the birthplace of Walt Whitman. He has had more than three hundred poems published in some fifteen different countries. He retired as Clinical Assistant Professor from Boston University’s School of Dental Medicine in 2013 where, in 2011, he delivered the Commencement Address. He lives in Webster, New Hampshire with his wife Karen.

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This writing was originally published in Opium Magazine, and is not listed in the archives.
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