Trilliums In May
A milk bottle film coats the sky,
by Caroline Misner
the humpbacked hills bristle evergreen,
tricorns white as arctic snow unfurl
their brazen petticoats, stiff and starched.
They signal the end of dark long days,
of kisses and missiles of sleet
that pierced the curled bud’s slumber
in slow degrees.
I am told they are beautiful, but I see
no beauty in them; even the fattened
bees cannot manage to sip
their bitter nectars.
There are so many of them speckling
the weathered path that cuts
a crooked curve through
the chilled black loam.
At dusk they fold their bloodless mouths
over little pea green hearts;
though anaemic and sickly
they can withstand the brittle frost.
The sky turns to rancid cream, darkens;
bats who believe they are stars
mark the air with their curses.
The wind flexes its muscle
one last time before it dies;
its grave is a mattress
of downy moss, dank and shallow
where the cold things crawl.