Edited and introduced by Wesley McNair, Maine poet laureate.

Maine natives and tourists have long been attracted to the taste of lobsters. But in today’s spring poem Richard Foerster of Cape Neddick asks us to consider the allure of fresh, sauteed fiddleheads.


By Richard Foerster

Only the first scrolls inscripted
with the long winter’s undeciphered
lore, only the tight-harnessed
coils volting up fully
charged from peaty earth would do:

tiny crosiers straining to hook
the sky; spring’s furled lace-
wings before the sun has a chance
to spirit them with flight. Arrested

potential I demanded with each
flick of my pruning knife, not
woodland crofts feathered wide
in August with spore-laden tracery.

How the future seemed to lie
there before me, curled and delectable.
Already the virgin oil sizzled
in my mind till I was sure
the skillet would whisper hosannas.


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