He is among the disappeared —
probably not a mountaineer lost at altitude
somewhere near the borders of Tibet
nor taken by the IRA during The Troubles
then shot in a bone-rich field.
I would doubt he was disposed of
by some junta in the Americas
or lost in a Congolese jungle
while canoeing for precious metals.
Yet in an age where you can find
anyone, I cannot find Anthony Childs
last seen on a British Rail 125 heading
south to London in the mists of 1985.
What becomes of an old school friend
who takes you to Scotland to meet his
new love yet returns hopelessly alone?
There were aggravating factors —
alcohol for one, then her parents’
annoucement of a dead body presumed
murdered in the barn. They were gracious
at our youthful stumbling as shock set in
but as we travelled home like two nuns, dark
silent & soon parted, he uttered four words
I’ll never forget: ‘You shouldn’t have come.’
Regrettably, I have not seen him since.
Copyright Simon Heathcote
Photograph Jonny Gios