Ferns jill-dimond-d53BtUWniBY-unsplash.jpg

Ferns

Poet: Joanne Epp

What were those leaves I picked

in the graveyard? Ferns,

I called them. They probably weren't.

More likely, leaves of yarrow,

just emerging. Violets, though—

those I knew. Plucked them

from the grass, arranged them

with the ferny leaves on the graves

of my great-grandparents, because

this is what people do, put flowers

on graves, and these were far better

than fake ones. Because

there wasn’t much more than this:

their names on headstones; a photo

in a cardboard frame; the tiny

grey house; their presence

just beyond my memory.

Joanne Epp is the author of Cattail Skyline (Turnstone Press, 2021), Eigenheim (Turnstone Press, 2015) and the chapbook Nothing But Time (Seven Kitchens Press, 2020). Her poems have appeared in Prairie Fire, The New Quarterly, Canadian Literature, and other journals. She lives in Winnipeg, Canada. Her web site is https://joanneepp.com