This entry is part 5 of 29 in the series Wildflower Poems


Miterwort by Jennifer Schlick
Miterwort by Jennifer Schlick (click to see larger)

Mitella diphylla

After pollination, the flower cup
turns into a blunderbuss,
expelling its tiny seeds
when a raindrop strikes.
Was it this, or the flower’s
fringe of white feathers,
that made the Iroquois think
they could drink a decoction
& rid the body of bad luck,
expel it in their vomit?
Sometimes, too, they’d use it
to bathe a gun that didn’t
bring down game
or ease one drop
into a sore eye,
surgical as the tongue
of a halictid bee reaching
between the lashes.

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