Nurse Log

The cedar stump that held
my father’s, the professor’s, cocktails,
and laid away his endless stories
of errant shots and old spaniels,
he would be glad to know,
has become a nurse log,
its saw-shorn archival rings
of cleavage

bog-like to the roots of seedlings,
to a winding-sheet of thriving lichens,
to a trembling colonnade of sporophytes
on soft green lips of mosses,
and to the spring grouse
who, like I, with a breath to the eternal
vacuum and a momentary boom
now drum upon it.


Poem and Photograph by John Fritzell

This poem originally appeared in Bramble (the Wisconsin Fellowship of Poets quarterly journal.

John Fritzell writes and takes photographs near his home in Appleton, WI; his debut poetry chapbook Thuribles was out from Kelsay Books in 2021. John’s poems have been published recently in Grays Sporting Journal, Bramble, and One Sentence Poems among others.