My mother is in the orchids
the tiny yellow orchids
that Teresita gave me
after my mother died

I don’t know how my friend knew
that in the spirit of the orchid
my mother’s spirit grew.

She kept them in her company
at all times, and arranged her home
around them, with an oriental elegance
and a happy style, not overstated, but
bursting with cheer

I felt my mother in
the bursting flowers of the first stalks
and then again in the second bloom
I didn’t have a twist tie
to hold the second stalk
so the orchid did, summoning
her ribbed, muscled leaves

That’s my mother
There she is again, I thought

I never expected a third bloom

Today I water the orchid, thinking
My mother has a hand in this
And knowing that is true

The moment passes swiftly
and is forgotten by the time
I have finished dredging
the orchid in her warm bath

But now I have caught it
and I’m seeing a Russian Cinderella tale,
about a girl named Vasilisa
who is given a doll by her dying mother,
a doll who will answer her wishes
whenever the girl feeds her…

And I’m seeing the dream I had
the other night, of trying to feed my grandmother
nourish her in her old age
find the right ingredients out of
the food she had in her fridge

How we long for nourishment
here on this lonely ground
But how much more do they long
who have gone before us
and have the food to give!

My mother is here in the orchid
Oh yellow orchid, kiss of the sun,
sweet honey spirit
of rebounding delight
consider yourself received

And may I not drift
too far away
from the miracle of your kiss…


orchid support

Pin It on Pinterest