I like this poem – no, I’m proud of this poem – and haven’t shared it with anyone in a long time. It was originally published in Pembroke, the literary journal of the University of North Carolina. I’ve never been to North Carolina, but maybe one of these days… I imagine many trees.
THE SHADOW OF FERNS
Some night you will be cold
and alone. Maybe an animal
is crying outside or the wind
is dragging a branch of palm
across the roof and it wakes you.
If you love me, say my name aloud.
There is no ceremony.
Just say it once or twice
into the darkness, or into the cool
electric glow of your lamp.
Say it slowly to a patch of moonlight
on the rug.
Maybe I will hear it, as I stare
at the vague shadow of ferns
cast by the moon on my drapes.
Then say it for hope, for life,
for the distance between us.
Shadow of Ferns by J. Kyle Kimberlin is licensed under a
Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 United States License.
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