Nature agriculture plant leaf

There is always the ostrich fern
when someone else’s endeavor
outshines mine, with a smile
half-apologetic. I leave
my desk for a patch
of shade, behind the office, where
roots marinate, and imagine
underground murmurs,

tinged with green. Ferns are primal.
Ancient rhizomes outgrew
the first bog. Moved on.
Out back, all week,
fiddleheads nose toward the light.
One stem overtakes its mates,
unfurls a series of soft fins,
a limber spine. Seems
they grow best in stands,

crowding each other. I head
back inside, flex my hands,
open a new file. With a nod
toward my tired, genius
friend, sweetly stunned
by the forthcoming fronds
success delivers, something
like a tendril stirs, reaching.



Poem by Laurie Klein

Laurie Klein is the author of Where the Sky Opens and Bodies of Water, Bodies of Flesh. She lives in the Pacific Northwest.