Croatia, 1999: Father speaks to ferns

“I fail to feed your children
mere stripling
at-struggle with scree.”
Up from the valley grass to the saddle stone
He is thirsty
She is thirsty
“I am nought but fern,
mine is a heart 
I can wring not these useless roots
For the clench of slate
“I am early crocus
I shall not last
following too soon the snows.”
I beg of bees
I promise them all
Would they but deliver
Sweet solace to the sun-stung lips
Of my children slender, stunted
“I am moss
bitter on the tongue
ready the children
for I,
I shall invert their stomachs.”

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