ready made four

the day has been kind.
commitments move aside
pleasantly and with haste.
the weather holds.
each hour fills and pours
rewards into the next,
cascading synergy beneath
every breath, every thought.
a young maple flames up
in the neighbor’s yard
and i gawk, parked but idling,
thankful beside the curb.
that’s when the news comes
across the radio, surreal
in composition and in context:
child discovered in ga landfill.
child’s body, at least.
law enforcement had been searching
eight hours beforehand.
no luck. no luck. no luck.
then, bingo. found her.
(what had i been doing
for eight hours? where was i?)
the details escape me then,
age around seven, name,
names of parents, grade level
all hammer at the base
of my brain, in the back,
blunt information.
my ears fill up with heat,
my face and neck feel wet.
moments later, why is the car
still running? turn it off.
clean up. walk carefully inside.

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