Doug Ramspeck

After, by Doug Ramspeck

It isn’t just the uncertainty of things,

the hairline crack in the hawthorn

trunk, the grackle banging into the window

then disappearing. It is the prayer

we think of as the evening moon: grub white

and listing in the sky, unmoored.

Or the loam we imagine as our bodies:

we were formed from a clay

that we’ve forgotten. Now the crickets

are calling in the field,

beseeching us or chanting, offering

the persistence of their voices

to the stars, which will not listen. Or perhaps

the earth is a mother rocking the infant

of the moon, and this rhythm

is the rhythm of uncertainty.


Published in Cider Press Review, Volume 14, Issue 1.

Doug RamspeckDoug Ramspeck is the author of four poetry collections, the most recent of which, Mechanical Fireflies (2011), won the Barrow Street Press Book Prize. His first book, Black Tupelo Country (2009), was awarded the John Ciardi Prize. His poems have appeared in The Kenyon ReviewSlateAlaska Quarterly Review, and elsewhere. In 2009 he received an Ohio Arts Council Individual Excellence Award. He directs the Writing Center and teaches creative writing at The Ohio State University at Lima.

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