David Fleming
It's All Academic   www.davidflemingsite.com   
The Lost Horseman

April 10, 2020

This poem had an additional stanza (the last one) added about 24 hours later.  The rider deems it necessary.

The Lost Horseman

I am the lost horseman,

Hopelessly wandering the wasteland,

Disconnected from my confederates,

Wondering with each kingdom I enter

If I have been here before,

A scorched earth makes it hard

To know if the tracks are mine or theirs.


Every town I come upon

Has barred doors, shuttered windows,

Citizens battened down, no response

To the bell or knock on their facades,

And as a rat scurries away, I ponder

If I'd be let in if on a white steed

I had ridden in on.


I found a tavern in which to refresh

But a Maítre D greeted me

With the same contemptuous leer

Hundreds of his kind had greeted me before

As if my clothes were not good enough

My bank account not big enough.


He told me to wait and have a seat,

Took his time checking his screen,

Said that it seems I wasn't on the list,

And would have to leave.

I screamed that I had the names

Of everyone on any infernal f'ing manifest,

That when my party came he better hope he was off.


But then I checked my jacket,

Searched my pants, satchel, and purse,

Realizing that I was separated

From the lead, the second, maybe even the fourth,

And I shrank into the bench,

Muttered a curse at my host

But he acted as if he never heard a word.


Back on the street, I'm the lost horseman

And my sable steed can only lead me

To abandoned stations and roadways.

I've appeared to have lost my balance

And must pause in open fields

Until the company reconvenes, reconciles,

And reveals sword, beast and scourge.


What if I am not just lost

But also last?

My pony with broken leg

Unable to go on?

It felt righteous at the start

But without the full ensemble

It's a matter of the heart.


I hitch my horse to a post,

Figured I’d wait out my troop.

Soon discovered the colt had been washed away

By the pithy and pitied nostalgic hallmarks of the time.

The nag was nowhere to be found.

There is no art to this forsaken place.

I walk away to leave them to their fate.