December 2, 2022

“Ode to the Wild Daffodil,” Poetry by Birch Saperstein

“Ode to the Wild Daffodil,” Poetry by Birch Saperstein
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.



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.

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#birch saperstein#crows#fear#flowers#judaism#poetry

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