The apparition speaks


Are you his people?

I was at home that day, the day
it happened.
I was waiting
on my son to come by
to carry me up to St. Joe
for my sister’s funeral. I’d just
lost my husband,
you see,
and wasn’t up to the drive.

Those two cars hit
and there was a fire
and that boy and his little dog
died.
You could hear the dog, too,
for a minute,
but it seemed longer.
An ambulance came, of course –
closest one is in Sedalia – but by then
it was just too late.

His people do come by
sometimes
and put out new flowers.
I get my grandson
to mow around it.

No, it doesn’t bother me
to have this
outside my window.

But I can still remember
that little dog’s howl.

(Benton County, Missouri, 2006)