Larry D. Thacker: “Gone Missing”


This place will surely miss my mother and father. Just as I’m sure it misses the old couple that lived here for so long before. It remembers the woman coming to our door screaming one morning, begging my father to come help her with her husband who’d fallen head-first into the tub and broken his neck. This same house misses my sister who lived here ten years, raised her two sons here, divorced her useless husband here. My father tells me how items go missing. Reappear. He and my mother hear voices in the house, think it’s each other, laugh nervously about it. I’ve wondered if my father was glad to throw out that tub when they moved in. Some kid stole a potted plant off the front porch last night. The movers are coming this Saturday to make the furniture vanish. My mother told her friends to come on by and dig up any plants they wanted. I gave her a lot of those plants every Mother’s Day for years. With every trip my father subtracts another haul of tools out of his basement workshop. I suspect even the house knows it will soon be gone. I’m the only one of the family who never lived there. I was always a visitor. I was working there by myself in the end. Sweeping up, filling last boxes, after the move. I heard someone in the house with me. I was alone.

Larry D. Thacker’s poetry can be found in over a hundred publications including SpillwayThe Still JournalAmerican Journal of PoetryPoetry South, Mad River Review, Southern Poetry Anthology, Mojave River Review, Town Creek Poetry, and Appalachian Heritage. His books include Mountain Mysteries, and the poetry books, Drifting in AweVoice HuntingMemory Train, and the forthcoming full collections, Feasts of Evasion and Grave Robber Confessional.

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