Ode to the Wild Daffodil After Ross Gay Come, rise, my friends! The season has shown her fertile belly, turned her deep skin, and now a new portion is facing the sun! Come, join me! Our time growing underground has come to an end, face the world with me! Open your faces to the bees and butterflies and hummingbirds and gnats and let them sing you everywhere! I know you’re scared, terrified to stick your stems out into the air, terrified of frost and collapse and wind and rabbits and I know there’s nothing I can do to change or quell that which you fear. But I know, no, I promise, that we’ll rise together, into a new season.
Clippers My heart is a pair of hedge clippers wielded by a crow who simply cannot wait to cut. I’d liken him to a rocky beach, or running up a slide although he’d disagree. He thinks he glides through mountains of hedges, shaping foliage into beaches and cows and flowers and crows (for he is rather obsessed with his likeness) And would not, could not, wait for shrubbery to carry his weight. once, he told me lies about his work. He said it was like a duty, his sacred duty to trim hedges. He wants to fly, to grow, To soar through beech trees. He says these scissors are a leech, they tell him the weight of his responsibility is too large for his brow. That he should slide down greenery and reduce his hedges to sticks. He should gaze at lichen, never see shrubs again. But he likes the work, loves to imagine beaches and animals and heads made of plant, he can never wait to begin for the day. He tried to stop but returned, for he’s a crow of habit. My friend glows bright in foliage, his heart, like in a picture book, grows at the opportunity to let his thoughts slide onto green. His plants preach to him, they carry his weights. This is the story of his hedges. I love my crow, and his leaves and beaches. I want to liken myself to him, to freight my pride to him overnight. Let him trim me, my hedges.
Yom Hamatzot They turned into moth cubes, seated in exquisite rows. Stacked like nylon kippot in the wooden box by the entrance. One walked in after another, “Good Shabbos” “Good Shabbos” “Good Shabbos” the same, but that’s divinity, is it not? The divine is men, each in worn suits and each balder than the last, shuffling in prayer like geese swarming tashlich crumbs, eager to devour our regrets. So I’ll come home for Pesach, for the cubed men, for my mother, for the shards of divinity yet to come.
Birch Saperstein (they/she) is a poet, knitter, and freshman at Kalamazoo College. They write about the fact that squirrels dig holes they don’t put nuts in so other animals don’t take them and the fact that self-seeding plants are called bisexual and other things they learned when they probably should’ve been sleeping. Her work has previously been published in Angel Rust and Outrageous Fortune.
What charming. eloquent, richly-laden poems. Bravo, Birch!
Well done! Thank you.
Really wonderful writing, daring in the fact that it uses images/themes (especially “daffodils”) that have been turned to cliches and makes them inspiring, joyful and new. Birch takes the risk of finding faith.