I met a girl in a sunny wood

before the leaves were grown.

Trillium Jane, she gave her name,

an all along her sleeves and skirt

pale blossoms there were sewn.

Might I ask why, I said to her,

you've so adorned your gown?

Those flowers fair you now do wear

will with'r and wilt within a week

and leaf and stem turn brown.

Within a week? What do I care,

she cheerily replied.

Their pink and white brings me delight

today, before the sunlight fades,

and in the shade I die.

Tomorrow, I shall die.

A chill came to the forest, then

though still the sun shone bright.

Somewhere above, there called a dove;

in branches clenched like choking arms

it sang of nearing night.

Seeing that I could say no more,

she bowed and went her way.

I stood alone among the stones

imagining her fate were mine—

how would I live this day?

Were I to die the very next,

how could I bear this day?

Spring ephemerals, such as Trillium grandiflorum, cover the floor of deciduous forests in the brief interval between the spring thaw and the growth of the summer canopy. They sprout, flower, bloom, and die within a span of weeks, wilting just as the sky above them greens with leaves.