The hard part
By Clare Jones
The new root of the fern is the part you eat in famine.
Harsh words are spoken, but they’re not the ones that make you turn.
Where the muscle’s smooth. That’s where it doesn’t fray.
The hard part is what comes easy. The hard part isn’t hard.
It only seems. It only seems. It only seems that way.
The snail inside the shell is tough. It holds the tooth, not tongue.
The fingernail. The hair. What the old ropes come from.
What’s left, dug up, and laid aside. Not the nick that never healed.
There are lice that live inside the quill of every feather of every bird.
You spoil it with a fingerprint. Artichokes have hearts.
The alligator pear has an endosperm that, when squeezed, weeps only oil.
You shed your skin as you grow cold. The hard part isn’t hard.