All that is left of her is this grainy photo,
black and white, face barely visible.
Sad, after forty-three years, the only memory
or trace of her of her of the time spent on earth.
Miss Gracie just disappeared
from the lives of my parents
when she got on her old bike
and went to visit her Aunt and Uncle,
who just lived down the road.
This community was small,
mostly everyone knew every body.
It was nothing odd about to have kids
walking or biking up the road alone.
The elders always kept an eye out
with the exception of this one time.
Hours later all they found
was Miss Gracie’s bike laying
in a muddy, roadside ditch.
Every person in the village
was called and the search started,
farmer’s fields and woods scowered.
For weeks, someone was always searching.
Local radio kept pleading for tips.
There was a lot of people that saw nothing.
Not positive which one of my parents
gave up on finding Miss Gracie first.
For both of them it was decadees later.
Before then, every phone call
or door knock gave hope,
then hope would be taken away.
I was ten when Miss Gracie disappeared.
She was seven at the time.
Did not know how that moment
would define everything in our lives after.
I was never allowed to travel alone,
no neighbourhood kid was.
We were all home well before dark
and our parents knew where we were.
My kids have gone through the same.
Check in at home at all times.
Those rules never changed
under any circumstances.
My children may have resented me
however they were safe so I do not care.
Never once did I explain why.
felt like I did not have too.
There is an old, grainy photo
as a reminder for why.
July 10, 2019
© Andrew Scott – Just A Maritime Boy 2019