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For Dr. Smith
A precipitous landslide of unanswerable questions
Interrupts tremors of rudimentary sleep:
Where are you now? Why did you go? What are the odds?
Perhaps your feet slide off the off-beaten path,
Wind shrouding your calls as you are taken hostage
By the foreboding sea:
No food, no shelter, no railway to survival,
God, the only Judge.
The ordinary name of an extraordinary man
Is constantly whispered into our unconscious thoughts;
Had he been transported to the make-believe world of our
Russian translation and hopped on the
Sturdy back of an unsuspecting yak,
Swimming across the river whilst eating a dragon fruit,
Or had he pulled out more quickly
Before his wife came home to an empty abode,
Baby whining, sirens drowning out confusion,
Maybe we would have answers by now.
An ending, a beginning,
The unknown masquerading as comfort,
Prayers and healing thoughts easing pin-pointed tension
As we wait for news of his return.
A mere cup of tea cannot soothe our beating hearts or
Insides churning like butter spheres of dread
As the oppressive fear of the unknown
Is inflicted upon the convicted regiments
Waiting in agony for a call,
A thread of this fabric to pull everything together.
Disappearances are abstractions,
But now, harsh reality is
Trapped in this bell jar closing in on us;
Taciturn and faceless, we no longer dare shed a tear,
But together, bear the burden of this silent isolation.
The secret of his whereabouts flows free in the
Mountains, rivers, and trees,
God, the only witness.
We honor him in our hearts,
Remember his kind eyes, honest smile, caring personality,
Creative energy, innovation, and zest for teaching.
This metaphysical, mortal mystery,
A manifestation of the possibility of empirical miracles,
The only tangible hope in our lives.