Ghost Hunter

—at the Rutland Prison Camp Ruins

We ask questions of grass, 
darkness, an owl’s screech.
As for the dead, they don’t
comment, forward all inquiries
to the stones that aren’t
there. Graves unmarked,
lives nameless, crimes
forgotten or erased
off the spirit maps
we’ve shoved into back pockets
of skepticism. Someone
wants to know if they’re at last
at peace, if they’ve found
redemption or remorse,  
if the stopped voices
floated up from dried flowers
and coaxed them at last
toward understanding or maybe
just memory, just that.

The bones have nothing to tell us.
Our recorders go on fingerprinting silence, 
its whorls and loops
to be analyzed at a later time.
In the clearing the moon bleaches absence.


Lori Lamothe has published two poetry collections, Happily and Trace Elements, as well as a few chapbooks, most recently Ouija in Suburbia with dancing girl press. She lives in New England with her daughter and a Siberian husky born on Halloween.