Meadow oak arrives first, soaks up sun
with low-lying branches. Shade-tolerant
maples follow, reach higher to find the light.
Their cooperation allows a mixed forest.
Mountain ash emerges from fallen willow,
offers the riverside peace and protection

chew willow bark, eases pain,
bittersweet nightshade, cow parsnip,
milk vetch, St John’s wort, blue vervain
– for calming nerves

* poem, in its entirety, is available in the printed version of the current issue.


Meg Freer grew up in Montana and now teaches piano and does occasional editing from her home in Kingston, Ontario. Her photos, short prose, and poems have appeared in many North American journals. She is co-author of a chapbook of poems, Serve the Sorrowing World with Joy (Woodpecker Lane Press, 2020).


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