The lost passport that 
took you to Sri Lanka 
is in the left breast pocket
of the famous blue raincoat
that you rarely wore. 
The plane ticket that flew you 
to the old empires of Europe 
is tucked into the pages 
of that novel 
you cannot remember. 
Your high school 
senior portrait 
lies among some 
fallen leaves beneath 
a Dakota sycamore. 
The diary you never quite kept 
is missing all its entries 
from the months ending 
in the letters b-e-r. 
There is something lovely 
yet disquieting in the 
echo of steps 
upon the cobblestone 
of memory.
The knock unanswered
upon the door.
You are here. 
You were there. 
Now versus then. 
Ever and after. 
Foregone conclusions 
never known before.

Tony Gardner
Tony Gardner earned an MFA in creative writing from Bowling Green State University in Ohio, where he won the Richard M. Devine Memorial Fellowship in poetry and served as poetry editor of the Mid-American Review. His work has been published in the Cincinnati Poetry Review, the Sonora Review, Willow Springs, The Literary Review, the Kansas City Star, Everyday Poems and other journals. Tony lives in Shawnee, KS. Contact him at


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.