Today's poem is by Doug Ramspeck

Late Husband

In her dreams, then, she imagined him as feverish.
He had lost his voice and his skin burned.
They were walking by the oxbow lake, and he was trying
to speak, but his voice sounded like a wood duck
or a sandhill crane or a barred owl. Sometimes
she imagined his tongue was floating in the stagnant
waters by the pickerelweeds and flowering wapatos.
Or that he was swimming with the water moccasins.
Or coiling into the cypress trees drooping with Spanish moss.
And then, when she awoke, she believed she felt the weight
of him beside her, the loamy denseness of swamp mud
in the rotting heat of summer. Moonlight fell
through the windows, and with it came the voices
of cricket frogs. They were feverish at midnight.
Or perhaps she drifted back to sleep, for she imagined
reaching down to feel a wet stream of eggs slipping
from her into the shallow waters around the bed.

Copyright © 2007 Doug Ramspeck All rights reserved
from New Zoo Poetry Review
Reprinted by Verse Daily® with permission

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