Out of touch for years, Randy
never made a class reunion
couldn’t be located;
only child, his mother dead
father presumed so years before

Randy never married, had no kids

A few of us tried;
mail, Christmas cards returned,
undeliverable, no forwarding

one day a chance encounter
one old friend, another
Randy, a mutual acquaintance
his passing a few years previous
noted casually by one, to the
surprise of the other

he passed the word along

mourning took place
beyond posthumously, without
fanfare; a note on a reunion website,
information gathered from the
national death registry:

name, date of birth, date of death.

Ultimate finality

recently, going through
old correspondence from nondescript
cardboard box from my attic
a letter from Randy, dated two-years
past high school graduation
he spoke of his loneliness,
feeling invisible
using the word ‘lost’ as
both noun and verb

I don’t remember the letter,

but I remembered
long distance phone calls when
those were still a big deal
I remember his deep sighs,
audible even over old desk phone
his resignation at lack of progress
toward anything, anyone

reading, rereading his letter
from forty years ago
it became very clear to me that
Randy was lost long before we
were aware we had misplaced him.


– Mark L. Lucker
© 2016

One thought on “Gone.

  1. I had an experience quite like this but without the “others” involved. You captured the feelings well. Detached in ways but not really. As a matter of fact not knowing how to feel, at first. And, yes. The looking back and the realization. Excellent process.

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