Doug Ramspeck

Winter Breaths
by Doug Ramspeck

The dreams of the old men are winter
snow, and the moon a fisherman casting down
an invisible line, the signatures of light
a first breath. Sorrow, it seems, is older
than the birds flitting from limb to limb.
Sometimes the blown pupil of the sky
becomes a vision, or the men awake
to count nine crows in nine days. And since
they have the salt lick of the years, their heartbeats
are a kind of human mathematics,
the arithmetic of snow smothering grass.

Published in Cider Press Review, Volume 18, 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 Review, Slate, Alaska 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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