is not the saddest of angels, there are times, though, when it does abandon all hope—
the misplaced letter, the child who follows the wrong pair of pants in the holiday crowd, the watch lost on the lawn, taken off to play football or Frisbee.
It knows where each and every lost thing is but it does not speak these places. Instead it keeps them close to its heart, it worries over them until found.
There are times, like when an ailing grandmother wraps her opals and diamonds in toilet paper taken from a McDonald’s restroom and in her dementia she cannot remember if the bundle was left on the tray or placed in her baggage, when the angel knows but cannot reach through the haze to nudge the faulty memory.
It understands its sacred duty. That all things lost should be watched over, that nothing—even the books and photos lost to fire, to mold, the stuffed bears left in leaf piles and taken to landfills—are beyond being found, recovered.
But there are times when the levee breaks, the rivers rise and the mud and silt of five generations, all the pain displaced throughout centuries, covers everything with loss.
Times when it would rather be the angel of found things, the angel that gathers unto itself minds and causes and children and hearts and heirlooms, the angel that mends and heals and rejoices, that leads the congregation down the dusty road, singing and dancing before the altar found.