The fiddleheads appear briefly
around this time of year; “furled fronds
of ferns,” they’re a bad poem shooting
up out of the ground, waiting to be written.
Each year I tell myself I’ll pick them and make
a salad, or fry them up fancy, with mushrooms
and maybe pine nuts, but by the time I
get around to going behind the garage
to harvest them they’ve unrolled
and it’s too late, another summer gone by,
busy with work, the getting and spending.
They’re called “fiddleheads” because they
resemble the scroll at the end of a fiddle,
which if not used, warps, and
can no longer be tuned to play.