Still Born

Down from the black willow,
the dark shape gestures
in the fog. The shadow
wood duck stillborn for that instant
in the air, the way moonlight
appears at times as dense as swamp.
Or the slope of his wife’s belly
and how it made him think sometimes
of the curve of the oxbow lake
beyond their cabin, the sad curve
aching for its lost river.
Or how the wings of the wood duck
sound incorporeal above his head
in the pre-dawn gray, as though
summoning more fog to settle
into the bottomlands, to congeal
amid the bladderworts and pickerelweeds.

Doug Ramspeck's poetry collection, Black Tupelo Country, was awarded the 2007 John Ciardi Prize for Poetry and will be published in the fall of 2008 by BkMk Press. His poems have appeared in West Branch, Connecticut Review, Seneca Review, Confrontation Magazine, Rattle, Nimrod, and numerous other literary journals. He directs the Writing Center and teaches creative writing and composition at The Ohio State University at Lima. He lives in Lima with his wife, Beth, and their daughter, Lee. Visit him online here.

Boxcar Poetry Review - ISSN 1931-1761