Hart's Tongue Fern in March 2020
Fibrous rooted, undivided fronds,
compressed into coal that powered a globe.
Wavy outline of a deer’s tongue,
wound-healing absorber of heavy metals.
Clustering beneath damp rosettes of orange-speckled leaves
moss-footed, vascular spores unfurl.
Discreetly revealing themselves,
like question marks about our lives.
Buds, soft as lichen,
discard their velvet-grey coats and arch,
glass-like, in silent, shady woods and gorges,
to last a hundred years while we dread the days to come.