Angela Kelsey

Tell the Story

one more flower-poem post

Filed in Stories :: October 12, 2011

How to Feed An Orchid

Clarify the relationship.

It is you being fed and the orchid
who spoons blossoms in your mouth.

Find an east-facing room
quiet as a theatre of monks
watching a woman cross the stage.

Do not involve your own thirst when watering.
Incidental light is preferable to any replica of sun.
Stone, wood, marl or coconut husk
provide anchorage and let it be.

Like your thoughts without television,
the columns will harness the underestimated air
into calyx and corolla.

Urn-shaped or lyrate, barbate or ephemeral,
to nourish the orchid,
maintain a spirit of delicacy
with your dearest.

For the careful rosette and trinity of petals,
it bears the common name of “nun.”
But look at its center–
sheathed, gaping, labiate–

no less a woman.

–Jennifer K. Sweeney, from  How to Live on Bread and Music

Filed in Stories