Blackbirdan online journal of literature and the artsSpring 2015  v14n1
an online journal of literature and the arts
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I am bringing ferns to the knees of my mother’s house
thinking she wants to see a dream marsh,
a draped wig, a long frilled sleep. Down at the pond
I spoon them up, circles six inches from the plant
and six inches deep, little coughs of shovel like a patient
amusing herself with illness, rolling it behind her molars,
working it to small pinballs of sound to pepper a mute TV.
Whatever poisons I’ve thought up in that house
will be wiped clean by fern. Manuals say don’t
let the roots see sun, pack mud around the mud
you’ve brought to light. These maidenhairs are for
the north side but I might claim to mishear, might try them on
the bright white blades of the house’s south
where the white painted wood is the sun attempting Euclid
and the grass drives up proof in green wires.
I am one who talks down dreams at breakfast
until they’re no more than the tacky smear around the jam,
who points out airplanes on a night deep with stars.
Some part of me would love to see a fern
browning in the unaccustomed light, dry and sick with truth,
misplanted, brittle facing unrelenting bright
then carry it back to bury its white hairs in the soft dark.  end  

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