Her sister has been looking in the places
Ashley used to go – back edge of the park, a little
bridge over reeds and a sometimes trickle of stream,
up a path that climbs bare hills to an oak knoll –
sisters can tell each other secrets
they wouldn’t dare at home.
That was years ago.
The walls of Ashley’s room are bare
but for a poster of a place called Saint-
Annabos across the ocean,
solitary path through leafless woods.
Her sister climbs the hill above the park,
closes her eyes to see Ashley walking that lonely
narrow path. Autumn light turns white-bark birch
trees ghostly-glowing on forest edges against
October’s deep blue gloom of October, spirits
of the missing whispering their secrets.