2017 Poetry Contest, Honorable Mention: “Trillium” by Melissa Jean

We’re excited to announce “Trillium” by Melissa Jean as an Honorable Mention in our 2017 Poetry Contest! A special thank you to our hard-working poetry staff!


In the woods there are velvety black flowers; someone calls them trillium. I thought trillium was a white flower. This one is elegant and dark as a shroud. There is a nursery rhyme or a poem about trillium—a hymn, even? I can’t remember. It floats at the edge of my consciousness, the word in the voice of a father. I think if I ate this trillium maybe I would remember. If I licked it. But you can’t just lick things that you find in the forest. You can’t just lick things.

Melissa Jean: “I am an Assistant Professor in the Mindfulness Studies masters’ program at Lesley University in Massachusetts. In addition to earning a PhD in Human Dimensions of Ecosystem Science and Management at Utah State University, I also earned an MFA in Creative Writing at Lesley University, where I was a recipient of the Jacob K. Javits Fellowship from the Department of Education. My story “When the Rains Came” was a winner in the AWP Intro Journals Project competition, and was published in The Colorado Review. I have also published creative non-fiction and poetry in a number of print and online journals, including, most recently, Junoesq. I currently live in Nashville.”

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