Elegy, Still Under Investigation (her brother)

by Lauren Smothers

(her brother)

Rain the day before, a wet ground
and the smell of Mom’s daylilies

under my window. I wake to our dog
barking, loud, frustrated. I tell myself,

utility truck. Slide out of bed,
toward the kitchen, where the microwave

buzzes, the food left inside. I see no truck,
no one checking the meter.

Her car is still in the driveway.
Then I see them, walking toward the woods:

my sister and a man in head-to-toe camo. I tell myself,
it’s _______, her boyfriend. You ask
if I have regrets: well, my first was to believe

our woods were safe, and the second
was to believe God created them so.

LAUREN SMOTHERS has an MFA in creative writing from the University of North Carolina at Greensboro. She lives and teaches in Jackson, Tennessee.