The harbinger

Archive Photo of the Day: Antoni Zaborek Wildlife Photography‎

Archive Photo of the Day: Antoni Zaborek Wildlife Photography‎

In May of 2015, I wrote these words in the Listening Post:

“Whenever I see a trillium, I want to stop and breathe, to do nothing but be in the presence. And then I want to write a poem; I want to consider perfection, purity, evanescence. A trillium is a thing seen that points to things unseen. I haven’t written that poem yet…”

This morning it was time to write that poem.

The harbinger

Winter wrecked the woods again.
Broken beeches lean upon the pines.
Snapped limbs loom over underbrush
and little bones litter leaves
below the bole where waits the owl.

Having longed so long for snow to go
the heart now hurts to count the cost
of what’s revealed and what was lost.

And yet, there’s ease in sultry air
when stripes of sun strike everywhere
to free the reek of rain-soft duff.

There, down the bank, a harbinger–
a gleam beside this cold rill roiled
with runoff, thick with snags–
a thing seen points to things unseen:
the pure, fleeting flag of trillium.

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