The Kid

They burnt flares across the grass, lighting the long
Winding, mountain paths, for some poor kid lost in the dark.
The scout master screamed and the parents ran
Towards the sound, chased it against the rain,
Across the marsh and over mounds.
The kid blows his whistle, his lungs contesting wind,
Giving it everything he can, rapid shrill chirps,
Faster and faster, less breath between,
Still nowhere to be seen
And then
It stops.
They keep searching, every crevice, every cave,
Chasing his name as it dissolves in wind
And rain.

He went from school pictures
To milk cartons
To memories.

We tease each other over the fire,
Haunted stories of abandoned hospitals,
Spooky myths of our local sleeping residents,
Alan’s nut allergy.
It’s easy to laugh when you’re young.
But the whistling winds wrap the woods,
Bending branches, stirring leaves,
We all rise onto our feet,
Eyes in every direction, looking far and deep,
Knowing that underneath the canopy
Alone and cold,
That kid is still trying to find his way home.

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