They found him, the autistic boy

lost for four days

in the woods.

Rejoice! The lamb is

in the fold once more.


He accepted a roll and water

but did not acknowledge

his rescuer’s joy

or the intensity

of his mother’s elation.


Mama explained,

“Because of

his autism

he probably did not

know he was lost.”


I was like that once.

Living in that blissful

inner space

between realization

yet oblivious to danger.


Sometimes it’s good

not to know you are lost.

Sometimes not.

What matters is

finding yourself.




Joan Leotta has been playing with words through writing and performing since childhood. Her “motto” is “encouraging words through pen and performance.” Her award-winning poetry, short stories, books, and articles have appeared in many journals, magazines, and newspapers. Joan recently completed a month as one of Tupelo Press’ 30/30 poets. She has work forthcoming in Knox Literary Magazine, and Eastern Iowa Review. She performs folklore and one-woman shows on historic figures in schools, libraries, museums, and at festivals. Joan lives in Calabash, North Carolina with her husband Joe. You can learn more about her work and reach her through www.joanleotta.wordpress.com. You can like her on Facebook here.