The delicate emerald fronds wave gently
from amidst the brittle, brown leaves.

Bright and sprightly youngsters,
they stand firm amid the decay,
defying the cold that tiptoes across my cheeks,
whispering of winter's coming.

My momentary mothering instinct
wants to gather them in my arms
and carry them to a warmer place,
(maybe a greenhouse?!)

these small and naked green children.

But these wee ferns are prophets of grace:
While their desiccated elders sigh of summer's passing
as they crinkle under my boot,
the tiny greenings shout " joy!"

And their raucous song fills my heart,
surrounding the brittle leaves of pain and grief
that lie within.

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