Detective Work


You must begin with sincere intentions,
and somehow knowing the outcome
long before the clues line up
like Orion’s belt slung low
across his belly.
Begin, too, with sufficient time
to simply soak in the environs
before taking any action–

get to know the small back porch,
the little birdhouse still hanging
from a green branch,
a mason jar left behind on the step
containing a dark, cold liquid.
Slow walks around the periphery,
peeks into the plastic
over the windows, the rocking chair
that made your lover gasp
in recognition.

Be sure to begin with reverence for her
who surely raised her children here,
as it’s clear her belongings
are still piled high inside,
trash and treasures not ours to mine.

Sit one morning just watching
the light dance in the wild
grass behind the sagging barn,
listening to the silent whisper
of something magical choosing you.
Then walk home and tend to your life.
When the time feels right, begin

your detective work, donning a hat
perhaps, or lifting a pen: Names, dates,
numbers, deeds. Place a call
and leave a kind but cryptic message
inviting the woman’s daughter to coffee.
And then, just wait.
Go about your days

trusting that these clues
as familiar as family will return
your calls and appear in time,
all stars-aligning and goodness-
prevailing, that overgrown home
just waiting for you and yours
to breathe color and light
into its old and perfect body.

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