May rain and you surprise
me with a gift—not these ferns,
so resolutely green, wound
like seahorse tails or bisected
nautilus shells, which we’ll eat
the way we’d devour all these days
if we could, with lemon and salt,
butter we’ll tongue from spooled
lace fronds—no, the gift is your mouth,
tulip soft at my ear. Wet with spring.
Carolyn Oliver’s poetry has appeared or is forthcoming in Tar River Poetry, Frontier Poetry, Scoundrel Time, the Cumberland River Review, and elsewhere. A graduate of The Ohio State University and Boston University, she lives in Massachusetts with her family. Links to more of her writing can be found at carolynoliver.net.