Bloodroot in March by Gary Grossman

white bloodroot flower
Bloodroot in Bloom by Jessica Bolser. CC license.

Regardless of the year, it’s the first
flower seen on my daily hikes, pushing

through every November’s abandoned
duvet of tan and umber—a patchwork

of ash, oak, maple, and hickory. I pause,
eyelids unspooled, like a tired window

blind, and inhale the forest’s green

Willingly, this could be my last breath—
absorbing the effortless geometry

of these eight ivory petals, rising
from leaves mimicking round Japanese

fans from the 1840s.

How is it that small perfections can both
both break, and reassemble us— as

if we were Adam or Eve on day one
of the completed world— mouths agape

at finding the first flower?

Gary Grossman
Gary Grossman’s poetry appears in forty literary reviews. Gary’s poetry book Lyrical Years is available from Kelsay Press, and What I Meant to Say Was… will be published by Impspired Press in late 2023. His graphic novel My Life in Fish: One Scientist’s Journey may be purchased from, and will be reissued by Impspired in 2024.

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