They found her
In a ditch
Between the thick gravel of the farm road,
And the field that runs to the edge of the earth
Her face turned back to her shoulder
Like a bird nestling for the night,
And the stain at her breast
Was the shadow of a cloud passing.
The red flannel nightgown she was so fond of--
Soiled and bunched around her knees.
The jewelry box with bent ballerina
Lay open and empty by her hand.
They came for him in town,
He was paused at a parking meter,
Hand pulling change from a pocket,
Sleepy eyes gazing beyond the reflective glass
Of the old store fronts,
To the diner--
He had thought of pie and coffee,
Sweetness and steam rising
Against the fading sun.
They knew who he was,
It was a small town--
He ran a cemetery,
And owned a ten acre plot of trees
East of town where the rabbits ran
Until the opening of hunting season,
He sat over eggs and bacon every morning
At the diner with one man’s uncle,
(It seems she didn’t cook.)
He was asked to come along,
No rights were read,
No explanations given,
And as he followed, without responding,
He was taken to the station
In fragile silence, with careful movements
He could feel the man
Behind the bare desk bend in
To watch his face,
When he was finally told about his wife.
He could only nod.
There was no surprise, no denial,
No grief or guilt,
Just the snake-hiss of a hand
Held close to the chest one last time,
Before being spread on the table to win or lose--
Her hand limp in the dirt
And he was still holding it.