Interrupted Fern · Virginia Kendall Area

The Interrupted Fern

by Kathleen Cerveny

takes a moment for itself,
stopping briefly in its slow
unfolding from the forest floor
to seed itself for the future.

Within its tall and barren

vase of feathers the fertile
central fronds will pause
in the rote release of pinnae.

They take a breath—make space
along their spines to bloom
a nursery before resuming
the unfurling of their lissome blades.

With millennia of practice—

as far back as the Triassic—
these osmundae have prevailed,
independent of an ‘other’ for fulfillment.

Through eons of their seasonal decay,
these fragile ferns—which once sustained
Jurassic herbivores—are layered, deep;
compressed into the midnight seams
now plundered by a fevered world.

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