i got this poem in my mailbox. Goodreads January newsletter.
deep in leaves the pool's cracked floor.
The town has changed and has forgotten.
Broken steps of iron ore
lead to a jungle of huge vines,
some hanging from a rusting tower
like a schoolgirl's doodled lines.
The air is thick with what's in flower.
The strange stillness recalls her name,
the empty desk in the next row,
how time had stuck in one scratched frame
now fifteen Decembers ago.
They'd found her dead in the deep water,
beaten, bruises on her throat,
a used-car salesman's long-haired daughter.
I still have her last love note.
I wander into the green gloom
beneath the canopy of leaves,
as though back into that classroom.
She had worn jeans and flowing sleeves
and turned to me with dreamy smiles,
our steps echoing in the school
as mine do now on ruined tiles
of an enormous swimming pool
the years have left a ghostly place
of rust, a splintered bathhouse door,
in whose shadows there is no trace
of what I had come looking for.