June 6, 2022

Lost and Found in the Rain, By Alicia Hilton

 


Hiking

through a forest preserve,

I tried to find myself

hiding in dappled shadows.

 

Hazy clouds 

veiled the sun,

unleashed icy drizzle.

 

A blue jay squawked,

berating me for trespassing

in his territory.

 

The mist thickened.

 

Raindrops

beat a staccato patter.

 

My teeth started to chatter,

but I was too stubborn

to turn back.

 

Down the hill I trod,

carefully stepping around

a mound of Artomyces pyxidatus

clinging to a downed log.

 

I stroked the lacy fungi,

so tasty when sautéed, 

but the coral crown

was too perfect to pluck.

 

An old pine tree bent and swayed,

whispering, this way.

 

Pinus strobus pointed at a creek.

Her branches clacked, 

a swift jab in my back.

 

The needles tickled,

but I dared not laugh.

 

All forest adventurers

should respect nature,

especially trees, so regal.

 

I crept closer.

 

Wet moss smelled like mysteries.

 

Water gurgled over rocks,

saying, come and play.

 

I shed my boots,

socks and inhibitions.

 

Algae made the creek bed slick.

Bracing cold

swirled around

my toes.

 

Foam formed a face.

The Nereid demanded

that I dance.

                                                

Dumbstruck, I swayed.

 

Dance, she commanded.

                                                

Geese flying overhead

cocked their heads

and honked

while I pranced.

 

I spun in a circle

and fell on my ass.

 

The Nereid vanished,

but I heard her 

laughing with me.

Alicia Hilton believes in angels and demons, magic, and monsters. Her work has appeared in Daily Science Fiction, Enchanted Conversation, Modern Haiku, Neon, Unnerving, Vastarien, Year’s Best Hardcore Horror Volumes 4, 5 & 6, and elsewhere. Her website is https://www.aliciahilton.com. Follow her on Twitter @aliciahilton01.


Cover: Amanda Bergloff

Twitter @AmandaBergloff

Instagram: amandabergloff 

2 comments:

TS S. Fulk said...

A beautiful enchanting poem.

Alicia Hilton said...

Thank you for the compliment, TS S. Fulk. I am glad that you enjoyed "Lost and Found in the Rain."

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