My colleague, who sat with me at graduation
in full regalia, who joked with me as we walked
through the campus ravine, and was widely supported
for promotion, was charged with murdering his wife.
I saw the family months before she went missing,
seated under the shelter at the department picnic.
His wife and five-year-old are wearing top knots,
their heads bent close together over a plate of potluck,
her cellphone with its recorded fights out of sight.
He is sitting across from them, looking away,
indifferent to the child to whom he has passed
down jug ears. The hand wearing the wedding band
is resting on one knee; the other is cupped on the table.
He left his gloves, knife, and brass knuckles at home.