There’s something poignant about the now-blank, white paper taped to the light pole. It once held a message about something gone missing.
Some essential possession or…
I don’t remember. I just know that something important to someone went missing, and this sign was a plea for its return.
The paper’s blank face flutters against its cellophane tape restraints, whispering some echo of its message that I no longer understand. A language erased by time and weather. An image that has shut its eyes on us.
Not that anyone but me really minds. Cars zip past, their drivers oblivious. The sign is yesterday’s news. But I keep wondering: Did the sign catch the right person’s attention? Did they remember seeing that which was missing? Or was its message also lost — on the wind, in the dark, in the busy-ness of the people passing by?
Last summer, there were signs posted for miles around asking about a missing son: a young man different from his fellows, a misfit by society’s standards. The police found him days later, dead of an overdose, his body abandoned by his companions in a home patiently awaiting the return of its vacationing owners. Someone collected his signs, silencing the cruel lie of his smile for anyone who thought to look up and see it as they drove by.
My sign is different. Smaller in its seismic force. An indifferent shrug in response to a question of whereness, slowly fading, forgotten, only to become something also lost.