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Tuesday, September 29, 2020


 by David Spicer

Charon, no converted souls await you on this side 
of the river. Guided by your two ugly thugs,
Klaus the Klansman and Hector the Hell’s Angel,

you frighten the depressed night with amber hair,
its illicit brilliance shining for your devoted
minions with the dull transience of a caution light.

Charon, no new naive souls clamor for you on this
river side. Your boat collects water every time you                      
row down its waves, long ago bereft of their blue,

now shadowed by our despair. We hear your entreaties,
Charon, but your words are empty as our dead skies.
We see your eyes shine with the chaos of conflict,

but we tire of them: no more limber sycamores
bloom in the daytime. We know when the darkness
appears that you are here, your loud presence deaf

to our ears at this late date. Each of us dies, Charon,
but, if we see our end near, we want a fresh ferryman     
to steer us to our side of the stormy river that rises:

Your speeches are lies, you have cheated the taxman,
we do not need your worthless coins to hide our eyes.
Soon morning will wake and we shall demand you

depart our banks, leave with your henchmen, and veer
near the poison side of this river, where your fate awaits:
your reckoning, your trials that you have forever evaded.

David Spicer has published poems in The American Poetry Review, CircleStreet, Gargoyle, Moria, Oyster River Pages, Ploughshares, Remington Review, Santa Clara Review, The Sheepshead Review, Steam Ticket, Synaeresis, Third Wednesday, The New Verse News, Yellow Mama, and elsewhere. Nominated for a Best of the Net three times and a Pushcart twice, he is author of six chapbooks and four full-length collections, the latest two being American Maniac (Hekate Publishing) and Confessional ( His fifth, Mad Sestina King, is forthcoming from FutureCycle Press.