Sweep’s brushes grow on high heathland,
throwing off shoots from tufted rootstock.
A stem sheathed in dark-green leaves
startles by its signal. Look again
at the yellow diamond of the anthers
set in these smuts of near-black flowers.
They are taking April for their own,
thriving through a month of frosts
to grow into a grass that can be called
by its old country name of God’s Grace.
photograph: Field Woodrush collected 1922 (specimen 713) from the Magnus Spence herbarium, Stromness Museum