A man walking his dog
Is the one who finds the bones
Of the missing girl, the lost wife,
The old fellow who wandered off.
It’s always in a wood
Or on the verge. The dog snuffles hard
And pulls on the lead. The man
Looks and looks again.
Think of the missing never discovered
For lack of a man and his dog
Conducting the morning or evening routines
Of exercise and elimination.


Joan Colby has published widely in journals such as Poetry, Atlanta Review, South Dakota Review,etc. Awards include two Illinois Arts Council Literary Awards, an Illinois Arts Council Fellowship in Literature. She has published 16 books including Selected Poems” from FutureCycle Press which received the 2013 FutureCycle Prize and “Ribcage” from Glass Lyre Press which has been awarded the 2015 Kithara Book Prize. She has two books forthcoming in 2016 and 2017. One of her poems is among the winners of the 2016 Atlantic Review International Poetry Contest. Colby is also a senior editor of FutureCycle Press and an associate editor of Kentucky Review.