Wake-Robin Trillium


In The Scheme of Things published by David Robert Books, 2015.

First the leaves, showy as a tricorn hat
Miss Moore could fly in, then three
small sepals like a fairy hand

offering the tripetalous velvet flower,
its deep red a secret revealed
in one days’ dawn – Trillium!

Only a wildflower, but each whorled tier
a precise one-third turn from the last,
the fugue of three as clockwork as Bach.

A lifetime, and I never saw them;
Now I see them everywhere
rising out of early May coltsfoot,

unruly schools of trout lily,
every morning perfect with their discovery…

Until the day Trillium dips its proud head
as if in modesty, trembles,
and blows away. The great leaves

return to the green crowd
on the forest floor,
and my awakening to the spell

of Trillium seems as mad and lost
as the love that held me trembling
a lifetime ago, as the wild willingness to yield

everything to beauty, let go
the year-round, earthbound
human life and be
the robin who comes alive
once a year at a flower’s call.