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Ode to Fiddleheads

A poem

Published on:
June 10, 2020
Read time:
1 min.
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We are seated
at a wobbly
wooden table.
You recommend
the fried fiddleheads.

You are ten years
lovelier.
We order plates
of tapas and share—
jobs, degrees,
publications,
a husband, a daughter,
a farm, even “beeves”!

I’ve missed your laugh.

O, furled fern fronds!
neither bitter nor sweet,
you taste of Earth.

We nibble around
our losses. Your mother.
You traveled alone
to grieve. My mother.
I felt free.

Another glass
of Pipa, please.


You share your dreams
for public schools.
I fork up tahini
lemon sauce.
Your daughter loves art
and animals.

We chew
around the toughest
bits.
I cast about.
Again, I’m sorry
about your mother.


Not as sorry as I
about your son.
I remember
his pure heart.

You knew him well.
You do not ask.

Our wine is gone.

I say Oh,
this bite is tender.

Susan Delaney Spear
Susan Delaney Spear is an Associate Professor at Colorado Christian University. Her poetry collection Beyond All Bearing was published by Wipf and Stock in 2018. A textbook on the craft of verse, The Keys to the Treasure Chest (with David J. Rothman) is forthcoming from Springer.


Cover image by Jasmin Schreiber

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