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To say she was gone…
That didn’t quite cover it. 
She was vanished. 
They searched for awhile, yet came up empty. 
There were tears and pleas on national TV. 
Of course, there were theories…
But she vanished. Missing without a trace. 
And they would visit. 
Vigils at her door now adorned with delphiniums. 
Her violin by the mirror she watched as she practiced.
Her black-haired doll gathered dust as it lay on her bed. Alone. Waiting.
But the glove nailed outside the door? The one with stained, red fingers…
That was not something she would have worn. 


The Wife

Where had the time gone?
She was once a vibrant, young woman. Wasn’t she? 
That’s how she remembered it. 
She had felt that way once. Or had she?
That was long ago in the life of another girl.
That girl was strong. That girl was fierce.
She didn’t know this woman. This woman sat in the kitchen pitting cherries for a pie that she would never make. 
This woman wore aprons and peeled potatoes.
That girl would be horrified. She ran down the street full speed in search of a dream. 
Instead she slammed into him. 
Now she sits
       5 a.m. in the kitchen
              Cows lowing in the barn. 



Before you were you, you were ours.
The manifestation of a dream long forgotten.
An idea made tangible by the mistakes of another.
As you became whole we became particles placed in the background – shadows of those responsible for you – No longer actual but now theoretical and faded by the brightness, the newness, the wonder of one who was fresh and full of promise.

As quickly you scattered a dream made scarce by awakening. A shadow now quarantined to the distance – a ghost of another time.

And we drove on when you were lost. We pulled ahead with the now-mere idea of you in the rearview clambering to shield the disappointment and telling the lies of the broken.

Poet Audrie Roelf: I began writing when I was just a kid and never stopped (more than 30 years now). It’s in my blood; it’s not something I want to do, it’s something I have to do. Professionally, I am a writer/editor and have been published in multiple books, magazines, and literary journals. I graduated from Augustana College with a Bachelor’s of Arts in English Literature and from National University with a Master’s of Arts in Writing. https://www.linkedin.com/in/audriebretl

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