by Suzanne Rogier Marshall

Swift Corwin
Fern unfurling by Swift Corwin

Curled into fetal ball
the fiddlehead presses
against wet, dark earth.

Pale green head
ruptures the fecund remains
of fallen leaves,
emerges through mulch
of last year’s growth
and crowns.

Wrinkled brow tilts back
as slender spine uncurls.
Glistening body
rises tight-fisted
and unfurls its fronds
into April light.


The poet gratefully acknowledges the editors of Encircle Publications for first publication of this poem in the Aurorean, Spring/Summer 2012.

A former middle-school English teacher, Suzanne Rogier Marshall has published professional articles, poetry, and a book on teaching writing. Her poems have appeared recently or are forthcoming in The Tule Review, Written River, the Aurorean, contemporary haibun, and Freshwater as well as other journals. Suzanne’s first chapbook Blood Knot was released in June 2015. She has retired with her husband to the mountains of New Hampshire, where she draws inspiration for her writing.

Swift Corwin is a forester, photographer, poet, and intermittent blogger. He can be spotted deep in the woods or at the lunch counter of some off-the-beaten-path eatery. You can read his blog, called Lunch with Swift, at His camera is always with him. He looks for beauty and unique views of the places he travels. And he travels New Hampshire feverishly, especially the Monadnock region. His poetry is an extension of the photography. He strives to make word pictures—pinning a moment’s feeling to time and space.