National Poetry Month Day 8: “Ghosts Keep Us Moving, Stella Said, Think About a Field At Night, How You’re Always” by Christian Anton Gerard


Welcome to The Rumpus’s National Poetry Month project. We’ll be running a new poem from a different poet each day for the month of April.

Ghost Keep Us Moving, Stella Said, Think
About a Field at Night, How You’re Aways

surrounded by night-spit
            stars-— tips of water-

                        moccasin fangs, always feeling

so barefoot, so needy toward dark,
            its father-like presence—

                        Goodnight son, goodnight, I’ll see

you in the morning— the assumption
            sure as ferns on creek banks,

                        stiletto heel clicks on marble

dance floors, moving bodies
            like sex-cells, trust and

                        mistrust in a couples’ hands—

that urgency— how a corn stalk
            digs for light, a small river

                        embracing turns, like hands

on hips, slyly coaxing
            the curve to new ground.

                        That’s how night approaches.

I used to lift my parents’
            new plants from plastic

                        containers, examine the roots—

tiny skeleton cities
            slick as snakes

                        in water. The tips, I knew

would tap the water table ‘til the plant
            held firm, its ground, the stakes

                        so big in those cities. The ghosts we need

live in the ground, rush the crust
            like adrenaline’s thirsty eyes

                        sharp enough to tear our sight.

Christian Anton Gerard

Original poetry published by The Rumpus. More from this author →