Doug Ramspeck – Ghost Lullaby
And if the river is still whispering of the boy,
the mother dreams that the ribcage
of years constructs the raised bridge of willows
at the water’s edge. And since once a body
formed itself from liquid and loam,
there must be a spirit in the thin skin of snow
come winter, the layering of ice, the way years
build themselves one atop the next. The ghosts
dance into this shape she understands: black waters
moving out beneath a night sky, the milk
of stars spilling from a forgotten breast.
Doug Ramspeck is the author of four poetry books. His most recent collection, Original Bodies, was selected for the Michael Waters Poetry Prize for Southern Indiana Review Press. Two earlier books also received awards: Mechanical Fireflies (Barrow Street Press Poetry Prize), and Black Tupelo Country (John Ciardi Prize). Individual poems have appeared in journals that include Kenyon Review, Slate, Southern Review, and Georgia Review. He directs the Writing Center and teaches creative writing at The Ohio State University at Lima.