she packed her bags
full of shoes
and shirts with holey collars
and books
watered her plants
kissed the cat on the forehead
locked the door
and walked away
underneath the jacarandas
that watched sadly
like a purple roof

i watched her walk down the street
and i thought
im probably mistaken
that i heard her crying
i know that i had seen her at the window
watching the birds play
unmoving for hours
her eyes empty
blue baths under her wavy fringe

she never came back
they never found her
after three weeks
i gave in
and called the police
i can still remember
the cat sitting beside me
in my front yard
as they searched the house
we watched in silence
both knowing
she was gone for good

i have imagined
many things
that may have happened to her
she grew wings and migrated
she loved birds
she walked
as though she might take flight
at any minute

she cut her hair off
or bought a wig
and glasses
and took a new name
maybe she is a receptionist
with a new house
and a new cat
and new ferns

perhaps she lives in a dusty attic
of a forgotten house
and still looks out of the window
and listens to a lot of nick cave
and fleetwood mac
maybe she volunteers at an animal shelter
and helps children pick out preloved dogs
to take home and love
she might like one a lot
and call it billy
and take it home

perhaps she sleeps under bridges
and washes in the ocean
the salt turning her hair white
and picks roses out of peoples gardens
to wear in her hair
perhaps she has a blue guitar
and plays songs on the sidewalk
for coins
perhaps she shares her lunch with swallows

i dont want to think
where else she might be
words like shallow grave
and suicide
and abduction
are unworthy of her
perhaps she married a rich man
and died on their first married day
and maybe he buried her
in an old cemetery
with ivy on the oldest headstones

perhaps her epitah read

Free as a bird


casey diamond

Kangaroo Island, Australia

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