“In Bracken” by Kenneth Pobo

Kenneth Pobo


You prefer paths with signs,
read each one. I prefer signs
in highways or malls,

not here. You learn how
trees shape a forest,
geology at work,
species names. I’m off
walking, can’t be bothered—

we enter a bracken swamp,
a damp shoe box, moist,
springy earth holding us up.
You read two signs,

survey it, point out growth
I miss: a cinnamon fern
leaning by water, a pink
ladyslipper winking at
a pitcher plant.

Any forest is a work
in progress, something in-
complete but moving.

As are we. Signs of age
and love are on us.
This time, I will read them.

from Rattle #18, Winter 2002

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