The red juice of its root
has nothing to do with love
& everything with war, caustic enough
to leave permanent scars on the skin,
burn out cancer, repel insects,
& once to give Indian warriors
their fabled hue. But it isn’t just
the blood-red color;
see how the anthers circle
a pale heart. How the tender
young plant embraces itself
like a bat with its one green wing.
Dig up a bloodroot & watch a tremor
travel through the patch,
connected by something
far thicker than water.