Today's poem is by Doug Ramspeck

Feral Evening

Not the bats diving
out of the junipers and birches. Not
the sun impaled and bloodied at the field edge.

Just this old woman
kneeling by a dead crow.

In another life this bird was made
of mud. Dense mud, dream mud.
Maybe it rose from the stale bottom
of a deep pond. Was birthed
beneath a yellow moon.

Or perhaps a pine snake
came whipping out of the fireweed
and loosed its skin. So was there no body?

Imagine a crow lifting a snake skin
and flying above the milkweed
and lamb's quarter.
Or a crow and snake
as witchery and necromancy.
A crow raising the dead flesh.

Surely the old woman
dreamed that this was so.

And then: What's this?
She is kneeling before the stain
at the field's verge. The black feathers
in the wind's path.

Look: even in death the wings ripple
and twitch as though alive.

Copyright © 2011 Doug Ramspeck All rights reserved
from Possum Nocturne
NorthShore Press
Reprinted by Verse Daily® with permission

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