© 2024 Maine Public
1450 Lisbon St.
Lewiston, ME 04240

Maine Public Membership Department
63 Texas Ave.
Bangor, ME 04401

Portland Office
323 Marginal Way
Portland, ME 04101

Registered 501(c)(3) EIN: 22-3171529
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00
0:00
0:00 0:00
Available On Air Stations
Scroll down to see all available streams.

Dear After

Today's poem is Dear After by Kate Kearns. It is read by Julia Bouwsma.

Dear After
The resurrection fern, down-curled
and drought-crisp,

waits dry in a grey between,
then, when water

steeps it again, revives to evergreen.
In limbo it thrives,

patient, like the wood frog
whose eggy body

freezes solid in winter, its blood
a tangled icicle.

Though heart and brain clink
like crystal and stop

their vital work, livingness,
somewhere inside,

lives. Thaws with the brook silt
and starts back up.

It goes on. Just like that. And water
fills the dirt-brown fern to green.

Dear After, I don’t know what
to ask for,

I don’t know where this
correspondence goes.

My love sleeps warm
beside me.

Someday soon or not soon,
for one of us

then the other, this query will
become an elegy.

Remind me it’s possible to feel
this this.

It’s possible for atoms to disperse
as they will,

by all evidence scattered,
while

a frond of warmth,
the long fact of it,

holds, like a body’s imprint
in its bed.