Sword Fern

Sword Fern  by Nancy Schatz Alton

I am shimmering toward newness

swept full green into the unknown body.

I am no longer my old self.

If you were here

sunlight would change

how you see me.

I’m brighter now

I mean I’m still bogged down

by life’s expiration date

dark as they come with dyed blond hair.

Captivated by who’s

on the other end of the phone call.

I mean I’m totally done with you.

Except I’m not.

Except I’m never done.

Except I still wonder what you’d think

of this world and the new me in it.

This stock I put in you: can I give it back?

You see I’m shimmering toward newness.

Walking with sure step.

Letting the wind have her way with me.

Full green.

Ready for spring.

Stocked with your fury

I give you back

to the girl

I once was.

She’s pleased

and sitting

in the remodeled park.

Our old markers are gone.

How can I wish you well?

I only wish you forward.

The same way I wish myself forward.

With greenness and spring.

Soon sword ferns

will curl up just so


I’ll leave you there

let you unfold

my old decay

renews your forest’s floor.



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