Painted Trillium

This entry is part 4 of 29 in the series Wildflower Poems

Painted Trillium by Jennifer Schlick
Painted Trillium by Jennifer Schlick (click to see larger)

Trillium undulatum

Painted lady, late riser,
you rush out of the ground,
get pollinated on the fly
sometimes before
your petals fully open,
so that within one day
after emergence they are
already turning translucent,
your pink makeup fading
as the light-flooded
forest dims to leaf-out.
But that’s your true
element, isn’t it?
The shade.
Even unpollinated
you are wavy, vague
around the edges,
ready to let go of
all color & get
the opposite of a tan.
Only a well-timed cold snap
can hold your snow.

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