I was away writing by the McKenzie River
too rough for swimming. The office phone rang
for me. My husband said someone broke into
our house through a narrow window, took jewelry,
checks, credit cards, a cassette player, and more.
I drove the mountain road home in the dark.

The next evening, past midnight, a man’s voice
boomed on my answering machine. “Is this Lois
Rosen? We have your items.” Am I awake?
“This is Sergeant Heffernan. We caught a girl
with methamphetamines in a stolen car and
we’ll keep your items a month for evidence.”

What upset me most is she’d taken my gym bag
with my new bathing suit. You know how hard
it is to find a bathing suit that’s semi-flattering?
The draped-front style made me look not totally
fat, the elastic held me close but didn’t bind.
The black fabric felt swanky-smooth and
smelled like essence-of-summer by a pool.

When time came for retrieval, an officer told me
the girl, released, had requested my items, insisted
they were hers because she was the last to have
them. No kidding. Now that’s chutzpah. She got
no things, and no re-arrest. What did I get? Not
checks, cards, just the player and the gym bag,

What did a teenage girl do with a ladies’ suit,
not a two piece or bikini? Sell it, I suppose.
Now we have a burglar alarm, clickers, my son’s
’76 Volvo parked to look as if we’re home, metal
security signs, warning stickers, and my yearning
for that perfect, slenderizing suit.