The Lost One

David Spicer has had poems in The American Poetry Review, Ploughshares, Gargoyle, Mad Swirl, Reed Magazine, Slim Volume, The New Verse News, The Laughing Dog, Chiron Review, Easy Street, Bad Acid Laboratories, Inc., Dead Snakes, among others, and in the anthologies Silent Voices: Recent American Poems on Nature (Ally Press, 1978), Perfect in Their Art: Poems on Boxing From Homer to Ali (Southern Illinois University Press, 2003), and A Galaxy of Starfish: An Anthology of Modern Surrealism (Salo Press, 2016). He has been nominated for a Best of the Net twice and a Pushcart, and is the author of one full-length collection of poems, Everybody Has a Story (St. Luke’s Press, 1987), and four chapbooks. He is also the former editor of Raccoon, Outlaw, and Ion Books.

The Lost One

The evergreens grew tall that summer
day, lichen lazy on rocks, and I shot
a rifle for the first time in my only battle.
When we discovered the enemy
outnumbered us, a herd of buffalo
couldn’t have moved quicker: we
trampled too many of our comrades.
Stumbling down a steep bank,
I slept in a shallow grave of lavender
and weeds. Bullets roamed the woods
for days, and, dazzled at the shards
of metal that missed my temple
by inches, I crouched, withdrew,
and slept until a crew of silver miners
rescued me. Wearing beaded necklaces
and headbands, an hourglass logo
on their tan overalls, they told me
of the treaty signed between tall-hatted
and pony-tailed men, swore their story true.
We played euchre at night, and they
called themselves socialists, passed me
funny smelling cigarettes and named
me Oregon. Asked me if I wanted
to learn the darkroom or board the ferry
to Cutthroat Island. Then I noticed her,
whom they called The Lost One, the blonde
with an hourglass figure and silver eyes.

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