This entry is part 25 of 29 in the series Wildflower Poems


Bloodroot by Jennifer Schlick

Sanguinaria canadensis

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.

Series Navigation← Dwarf GinsengCutleaf Toothwort →

2 Replies to “Bloodroot”

  1. Loving this and the whole series! So glad you are viewing the up-close reality of flowers–their beauty, but also their natural functions and importance! Indeed, no “flowery language,” no easy dismissing of “flower poems.” Thank you! Thank you for seeing and speaking.

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