with a fly eye blue stone, cast on my elderly neighbor’s stoop. I leave it where it is, wonder if one of his grandkids dropped
it from a visit. I used to see him thin & shuffling onto his porch, sometimes he used a walker. Mornings, before work, I pick his
newspapers out of his bushes & throw them onto his doorstep as the paper girl sometimes misses. Then one day, five EMTs
in no hurry, with a gurney crackling the sidewalk, rattle his steps, crowd his door. When I go out to see, to talk, he’s gone. I never
find out if he was going to stay with family in another state, or if he went to a nursing home, or if he died. And the words we twist
to talk about it hold empty, like the bracelet without a wrist on his doorstep. The newspapers pile up a while, then I toss them.
I felt a connection to him, brought his paper to him, but there isn’t a word for a neighbor I got used to seeing & felt comfortable with
& helped out occasionally, but then he disappeared, & I miss him, & I don’t have a right to ask what happened. What word is that?
Lynn Finger's poetry has appeared in Ekphrastic Review, 8Poems, perhappened mag, Twin Pies, Kissing Dynamite and is forthcoming in Book of Matches and Drunk Monkeys. Lynn is an editor at Harpy Hybrid Review and works with a group that mentors writers in prison. Follow Lynn on Twitter @sweetfirefly2