Today’s prompt from the NaPoWriMo site was to write a “sonnet-esque”poem with iambic pentameter, and about something sad. In the news recently is the sad story of Timmothy Pitzen, who went missing in 2011 after his mother checked him out of school, apparently placed him with unknown people to raise, and then committed suicide. His father and other family members haven’t seen him since that day, when he was 6 1/2 years old. In the past couple of days, a young man came forward claiming to be Timmothy Pitzen, but today it was announced that DNA results didn’t match. While the young man may certainly be a product of abduction and abuse, he doesn’t belong to the Pitzen family. I couldn’t imagine the family’s heartbreak, given even the slightest hope that their son was finally found, only to find out it was a (even well-intentioned) hoax. So I wrote this poem for them:
For the family of Timmothy Pitzen, missing since May 11, 2011
The face, aged up, not his; the tweak of smile
the wrong angle. We knew this deep inside
the phone’s jangle-tone, the way it sounded
like a nightingale, deceptive in its
joy. We hadn’t seen him in many years,
that little bird, off to school with his bag
and jacket; we wanted to hear his voice
over the wire. Instead we got a face
not quite right, outlined with nervous bruises,
asking for family he can’t recall.
Our arms, too weak from carrying with us
old pictures age-progressed for clarity—
they can’t embrace him or tend to his wounds.
His song belongs to someone else. Just who
that is, may he someday discover them.
For now, we line our lonely nest and wait.