One moment it seemed he was safe and secure:
he had every part of his life mapped out, and organised, and sorted.
Then the next, he was swept off his feet.
And he had never seen it coming;
he had noted perhaps a few clouds against the horizon,
but far off, and nothing to worry about, nothing
that might change his plans. Until, all of a sudden
he was swept off his feet.
And not simply knocked over; that should have been
quite easy to deal with. People fall all the time, after all,
the pavements being not what they were, but
they can generally pick themselves up,
or someone else will do it for them. The fact is,
when he was swept off his feet
they never found him, that’s all. He was
never seen again.
All they did find was
his umbrella, unopened, leaning against
his briefcase, likewise: with all his carefully drafted plans
still secure within their folders. A wet footprint nearby
might have matched the shoes he was probably wearing.
Those had been good, solid shoes, too -
you could see that from the tread -
the sort that cling securely to terra firma, boring
but reliable footwear. Yet somehow, on that day,
those good shoes had let him down badly.
He was swept off his feet, despite having taken
(one might consider) every sensible precaution.
A search was made, of course; after all, one cannot have
people being swept away without good reason. But all the reports agreed
he had not been seen;
except that a clerk at the railway station
did recall having sold to a man without umbrella or briefcase
a single ticket to -
but no, he couldn’t remember; and anyway,
that man was smiling and bright-eyed,and looking much more found than lost.