HomeSouthern VoiceHe Brings Me Resurrection Ferns

He Brings Me Resurrection Ferns

for Doug
by Laura Sobbott Ross

Not lilies for lovers, or roses
the color of blood cravings—pacts
mingling between velvet, thumb and thorn,
or all those daisies, posies, or pansies—
elfish, stained like Siamese cat faces;
he brings me resurrection ferns.

Frills so startled by the atmosphere,
they faint, go brown with introspection.
Verdant sounds like a crushed succulence—
humid and emerald, not like these
ferns he’s unstitched from hundred-year-old
live oaks whisper chipped into submission.
These ferns are all that could be salvaged
from the razed lot where a Dollar Store
must be opened before Christmas.

What makes a living thing mutate its genes
so it could appear dead for a hundred years
and revive after a single soaking?

I remember a water lily in his palm,
an offering fragile as a confection
of origami, and in the bed
of his truck, resurrection ferns—
epiphytes, rootless remembrances
that live off sun and air. The instinct of thirst
swallowed into distillation—a forest
ghosting a forest, its persistent green heart.

Laura Sobbott Ross lives in Sorrento, Florida, and has been nominated twice for a Pushcart Prize and was a finalist in the Creekwalker Poetry Prize. She won the 2011 Chapbook Competition for Yellow Jacket Press, and her chapbook “A Tiny Hunger” is forthcoming. Her poetry appears or is forthcoming in The Valparaiso Review, Florida Review, Calyx, Columbia Review, Natural Bridge, Tar River Poetry and Cold Mountain Review. 

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  • lucinda kempe / February 15, 2012

    Absolutely breath taking. The title itself wondrous.

  • Laura Sobbott Ross / June 7, 2012

    Thank you so much, Lucinda!

  • eskimo / April 18, 2015

    hi mother in law, you are so talented
    this poem was beautiful.
    like your son.
    thank you