Resurrection Fern

There was something timeless:
the movement of the canoe, inertia

across a silken cushion, weightless
on clear water cold as spring-fed stone

on a shaded river lazing its way
under a glittering canopy

of fragmented light, Florida sun peeking
through fronds, needles, magnolia,

the ubiquitous tangles of moss,
oak trees swollen with wisdom

and old as collective memory, arms
outstretched in fantastic reach

over sandy riverbank and water,
their limbs so thick, so muscular

they riot with opportunism:
fawning, fanning ferns,

clinging bromeliads, air orchids, long
gray beards of Spanish moss

suspended in the cathedral of space
above our snakelike silver passage

where cabbage palm, sabal palm preen,
pink kissing azaleas smile,

and dark eyelets on green ferns stare
from forest fingers—oldest,

most primitive of the river fare,
more ancient even than dinosaurs,

wingtips fanning a primordial dance,
our canoe merely passing

as a glance, leaving us
possessing nothing of the eons

but upturned eyes
and the resurrection of time.