The Girl Who Disappears And Then Comes Back

by Moya Pacey

We walk home from school in winter dark after orchestra practice.

She takes the path to the footbridge over the railway line.

Next day she’s missing.

And the next and the next

and the week after, and the next.

The teacher stops calling out her name.

Before she disappears, she’s the shiniest girl in the class.

Shiny hair, shiny shoes, white socks, white blouse, tie

knotted neatly around her neck.

When she comes back, she’s wearing a white silk scarf.

She points at her throat to explain why she can’t speak.

Her violin won’t sit on top of the scarf.

She unwraps the white coil slowly rolling it around her hand like a bandage. 

That’s when I see.

Two thumbprints.

Moya Pacey published Black Tulips with Recent Work Press in 2017. She is a founding editor of the women’s on-line poetry journal Not Very Quiet and every third Monday curates and co-hosts ‘Not Very Quiet’ @That Poetry Thing at Smiths. Recent Work Press will be publishing her next collection in 2020.