The marauders baked like clay vases
under the sun, dangling from the largest
bare oak Blanche and I found: Peter,
she said, I love these rustlers and killers
jerking around forever, but next time
it’s sledgehammers and throat cutters.
Vegans, we still valued our longhorns,
herded them to boxcars. Eighty head—
a lot of money to feed orphans.
We wrestled with the moral dilemma,
but our cache of gold bought more than
gumdrops and licorice sticks: a school
to teach in, hassocks in their rooms.
The hanged rednecks wore chrome
sunglasses, so we gave them to the children.
All five peered up at the bodies, one saying,
Mr. Peter, that guy looks like a gargoyle.
This one reminds me of stinky toast
that needs a little butter, Maddy, a small
brunette, commented. Let’s go, kids, I said.
The seven of us trudged to the mess hall.
I called them my morning glories. Blanche,
longing for New Orleans, said Damn,
I could use a Mint Julep right about now.
David Spicer has had poems in Chiron Review, Alcatraz, Gargoyle, In Between Hangovers, Your One Phone Call, Reed Magazine, Santa Clara Review, Ploughshares, The American Poetry Review, and elsewhere. The author of Everybody Has a Story and four chapbooks, he’s the former editor of raccoon, Outlaw, and Ion Books and is scheduled to have From the Limbs of a Pear Tree (Flutter Press) released in the Fall of 2017.