The Departed

Gone. Where have they
Gone? These picnickers once
Here. The
Dirty plates – the
Fragments of food left to
Rot by batted down grass –
The bottle thrown and left
Sleeping by the slow
Moving stream. Is

That the break of a branch
In the distance? Voices blown in
On the wind? I think to
Follow, to walk the path of prints
In mud, the refuse left
Behind. Just

Echoes on shadowy ridges. Just
Foot-falls. Bits of food that
Float down the stream I
Cannot cross in the thick of
The sweet summer rain. Just…

The blanket left behind.
The lip-stains on glasses by
Rusty, rutted
Metal trash cans.

11 thoughts on “The Departed

  1. Susan May 25, 2016 / 8:56 pm

    Amen. Part romantic mystery, part environmental protest, this poem speaks to me. Thank you!


  2. Sherry Blue Sky May 25, 2016 / 10:21 pm

    Beautifully written, with the image of detritus left behind disturbing………..I love the slow moving stream, the footprints in mud, the crack of the breaking branch……….reminds me of childhood picnics at Mission Creek with my grandparents, where my cousin got stung, and the Samoyed rolled in something awful and we rode home with all the windows down. LOL.


  3. Luk Lei May 26, 2016 / 2:02 am

    This reminds me of many camping scenes or days out on the bike trails. You see it so often, refuse left behind, first instinct is carelessness, but then have to withdraw till the full story is known.


  4. Truedessa May 26, 2016 / 2:15 am

    This has the lure of mystery that draws the reader in and then I am left wondering about what is left behind. You know the rule I always follow if you carry in you carry out.


  5. Sanaa Rizvi May 26, 2016 / 2:47 am

    I agree with truedessa, your poem lends mystery to the beautiful poem and keeps the reader yearning for more 🙂


  6. Sumana Roy May 26, 2016 / 3:00 am

    I never thought such scenes existed beyond poor Asian countries specially India, where people are careless, unfeeling and self-centered. Not everyone though. Sigh.


  7. thotpurge May 26, 2016 / 3:48 am

    That whole post picnic debris comes to me as a metaphor for life or love..and streams we cannot cross because of the muck we’ve let them fill up with. Excellent.


  8. oldegg May 26, 2016 / 10:15 am

    There will always be those that spoil it for others…and nature shakes her head in shame.


  9. Jae Rose May 26, 2016 / 11:37 am

    So many aftermaths cleverly placed here for us to find and connect with – the echo of the trash cans truly haunting in this post apocalyptic/ post picnic landscape..


  10. Bekkie Sanchez May 26, 2016 / 10:01 pm

    This speaks of more than picnics. Of memories and even people that have gone. The trash left behind emotions. Sad yet a part of life we must live with.


  11. uvr2002 May 27, 2016 / 2:22 am

    Nice focus on the aftermath… much food for thought here


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