imageTaylor Graham

Not much in the way of wildflowers.
Just last week, lupine and vetch
purpled the shady side of everything
green. Now,

Bromus rigidus (that’s rip-
gut brome) is sharpening its awns;
The marianum thistle’s armed with knives.
Everything’s dried up.

Except, these tatters of pink,
not much more than a tinge
of color. Scattered, skinny corollas
stuck at intervals

to a stalk. They stop us
to puzzle out the name, the genus,
species. Looking closer:
four thin petals delicately paired

as if split-wings;
white pistil and stamen curved
like the neck of a swan, if swans
came in fairy-size.

Without our books, the scientific
name eludes us.
And so we move on,
noting Iridoprocne bicolor,

the everyday iridescence
of a swallow in sunlight
on a barb-wire fence.