box pieces of the five-week life I;ve gathered.
I’ll send them on
to fill spaces in my future life.
One thing is left
a spray of orchids someone gave
from a bouquet one who makes a ritual of flower-giving sent.
The orchids have no fragrance
but purple petals draw you
to look at the purple heart.
I watered them once
when the blossoms were full blown
like polished poems.
I was sure they’d wilt
and I would toss them out with the five-week litter.
They were stubborn.
I starved them.
They would not die.
This morning the bud at the stalk’s tip unfurled.
I think I’ll pluck the full-blown blooms
press them between pages of memory.
Perhaps in their thin dried transparency
I’ll discover their peculiar poetry.
-Hazel Simmons McDonald