There are times when we misplace our hearts-
misplace, not lose like one might lose
his head in love or lust or anger -
misplace - carelessly resting it where it should not
have been set
                        and then forgetting it like an empty cup
or pair of worn shoes until the emptiness inside the
forsaken heart aches, like the cup aches for the heat
of the coffee and the shoe for the warmth of the
friendly foot -
                                  and all that can be done is to
wander back over the previous paths, retracing
the steps, hoping to find where you imprudently
placed it –
            but as you turn a corner you are startled
            by the sight- the heart, in its abandonment
            has collapsed into a dry den of sticks and straw
            and blackbirds nested inside the chambers caw.

About the Poet
Ned Randle: I live in Southern Illinois where I write fiction and poetry. Recently my short story, “The Amazing Doctor Jones”, appeared in Cigale Literary Magazine, Summer 2012. My poems have been published, or will be published, in a number of literary publications such as The Spoon River Quarterly, Circus Maximus, Seven Stars Poetry, Poydras Review, Emerge Literary Journal, Barnwood International Poetry Magazine, The New Poet, Hamilton Stone Review (Sept. 2012) and Four Ties Literary Review (Fall 2012). My chapbook, Prairie Shoutings and Other Poems, was published by The Spoon River Poetry Press, Bradley University. My full length collecftion of poems-RUNNING AT NIGHT- will be released by Coffeetown Press on April 1, 2013 and my novel, BAXTER'S FRIENDS, will be released by Coffeetown Press on June 1, 2013.