Ode To The Orchid

by Kate Van Raden

My orchid-
Sits and waits
For my tranced gaze.

My delicate flower-
She has silken flesh
Wonderful to touch.

She looks to the sun,
Reaches out,
And I see despair
In her eyes.

For she knows
Only days go by
And all petals
Will strike the ground.

Scent of an angel,
Looks of a goddess,
She smiles at the sun,
Wipes away her despair.

For she knows
Of her worth
And she knows
That for just one day:

I will love her,
And she will be my orchid fair.

-Jordan TC

Just as I wonder
whether it’s going to die,
the orchid blossoms

and I can’t explain why it
moves my heart, why such pleasure

comes from one small bud
on a long spindly stem, one
blood red gold flower

opening at mid-summer,
tiny, perfect in its hour.

Even to a white-
haired craggy poet, it’s
purely erotic,

pistil and stamen, pollen,
dew of the world, a spoonful

of earth, and water.
Erotic because there’s death
at the heart of birth,

drama in those old sunrise
prisms in wet cedar boughs,

deepest mystery
in washing evening dishes
or teasing my wife,

who grows, yes, more beautiful
because one of us will die.

-Sam Hamill