Sanguine clot on an altar of white,
singular or sparse clustered, dripped
as from a painter’s brush, smudged
blood print against a vernal shroud, tripartite
leafed, yellow exclamations hold its center.
Wakerobin, birth-ease, red eye amidst
the common trillium, by what myth
is your incongruity clarified or entered
but by a woman conjured to a fleeing doe,
a hunter’s arrow in her haunch,
sheds carmine droplets at the run, staunched
heart’s last beat on a drift of snow.
Or this bracted trinity stamped and signed,
christus wound on a medieval weave,
spring ascension through wintered leaves,
a stigmata seeped from fallowed ground.
Take your pick, but do not pick — ephemeral,
fleeting, it won’t outlive design or fact
nor be contained by what a verse constructs.
Crimson flame, blossom carnate and poetical,
what is legend but that encountered
by soul or mind is feared, or a loss we can’t abide? —
a lover cast to a roaring God-frothed tide,
a flaring comet, a small rare red flower.