Today's poem is by Doug Ramspeck

Possum Nocturne

The boy found a possum skull
beside a tulip tree. A dead tree.
There were wood blewits
and tricholomas and inky caps
thriving near the fallen limbs,
which stank and rotted.
The skull itself was bleached white
and heavy, as though the rows
of teeth remembered insects,
robins' eggs, and carrion. At night
he held the skull against his chest
and dreamed that the possum
followed him through the dark woods,
its white face pale and otherworldly.
Other times he imagined leaving
the skull by the upright stone
of his father's grave. The skull
would watch the moon drifting
above the dogwoods and hickories.
The wind would wail through the teeth.
And the boy, awakening in bed,
would cross to the window and listen.

Copyright © 2009 Doug Ramspeck All rights reserved
from Iron Horse Literary Review
Reprinted by Verse Daily® with permission

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