Glacier Lilies

I’ve heard they’re everywhere in Montana,
up in the mountains, during the month of May:
blooming through the wide open meadows
or spreading across an entire forest floor.
For the animals, these flowers are like manna;
after a long winter of nearly starving,
black bears, mule deer and bumblebees appear
and feast on their bright yellow petals,
nourish on their rich inner bulbs.
Although I have never seen these flowers,
I’ve been reading about them now for years.
Many times I’ve thought, I’ll put on boots,
and hike high up into the mountains,
beyond where there are any marked trails.
I’ll likely have to pass through mud and ice,
not to mention the wind this time of year;
and what if I never find a Glacier Lily—?
The truth is, my winter has been long
and down where I live there are no flowers.
And yet I often think of them surviving
with long elegant stems and delicate heads.
What if I hiked up there and I found one,
declaring itself in bold yellow petals,
and blooming on the edge of vanishing snow?

Jodie Hollander

Jodie Hollander

Jodie Hollander’s work has appeared in journals such as The Poetry Review, The Yale Review, PN Review, The Kenyon Review, Poetry London, The Hudson Review, The Dark Horse, The New Criterion, The Rialto, Verse Daily, The Best Australian Poems of 2011, and The Best Australian Poems of 2015. Her debut full-length collection, My Dark Horses, is published with Liverpool University Press in the UK and Oxford University Press in the US. She currently lives in Fort Collins, Colorado.
Jodie Hollander

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Author: Jodie Hollander

Jodie Hollander’s work has appeared in journals such as The Poetry Review, The Yale Review, PN Review, The Kenyon Review, Poetry London, The Hudson Review, The Dark Horse, The New Criterion, The Rialto, Verse Daily, The Best Australian Poems of 2011, and The Best Australian Poems of 2015. Her debut full-length collection, My Dark Horses, is published with Liverpool University Press in the UK and Oxford University Press in the US. She currently lives in Fort Collins, Colorado.