The Detective (poem)

The Detective

The detective, he’s a father too,
and when he plays with his girls in the park
he remembers some dead girl’s hairdo,
and the hill or ravine or tree
reminds him of some old crime scene
where a rape or attack got out of hand.
The grit of dirt like sand, the lay of certain land,
the shadow that falls beneath an oak –
even with his girls his mind goes there,
and as easy as the blackest joke
that releases him for a minute,
just as easy is every detail
of the eight year old everyone failed,
covered up with her bright yellow coat
by the one who will say he didn’t mean it.