Naming the World

He knows the moon is watching
with its lone white eye.
Watching the dead cotton rat
in the ditch at the field’s edge.
Watching the dried roisinweed flowers
along State Route 17. This is how the world
forgets itself.
Surely someone drowned
again in Tickseed Pond.
Maybe the lovers undressed
amid the cinquefoil
and their bodies floated like white larvae
in the shallows.
Or maybe an old man
knelt by the water’s edge and poked
a knife into the entrails of a vole.
Or an old woman mixed a potion
of false indigo and purple prairie clover.
Once, when he was younger,
he and his brother dangled a severed doe’s head
from a stop sign near the limestone quarry.
The doe gazed at them in wonder.
The doe looked up and tried to name the moon.

Doug Ramspeck's poetry collection, Black Tupelo Country, received the 2007 John Ciardi Prize for Poetry and is published by BkMk Press (University of Missouri-Kansas City). His poetry chapbook, Where We Come From, is published by March Street Press. His poems have been accepted for publication at journals that include Prairie Schooner, Epoch, and Third Coast. He directs the Writing Center and teaches creative writing at The Ohio State University at Lima. He lives in Lima with his wife, Beth, and their daughter, Lee. For more information visit him here

Boxcar Poetry Review - ISSN 1931-1761