Monday, May 7, 2012

A Yellow Orchid

A yellow orchid shivers in wind.
One of a pair, it quivers
with excitement, shaking off the rain.
I’d kneel and photograph it,
but a glacial boulder looms
and threatens to roll over me
if I drop my guard for an instant.

It has rested here ten thousand years
but looks unstable, slightly insane.
The orchid, too, looks unsteady.
Its gross sexuality insults
the casual bystander, whose life
no longer depends on indulging
raw pubic impulse the color

of sorry old gym socks. The light
also looks unsteady, too tepid
to generate a vivid snapshot.
I should return when wind and rain
retreat to sea and the boulder
snoozes unaware of me. Maybe
Saturday, when the orchid yellow

should reach its peak intensity.
Despite the law, someone might pick it
and risk the boulder’s outrage.
If I return and find it has shifted
and flattened someone under tons
of satisfied granite I’ll wish
I’d photographed the flower now.

So I kneel and focus and press
the right buttons and an image
of pure digital gloss appears
on the tiny screen. The boulder
doesn’t react, but it’s tempted
by my vulnerable posture,
easily converted to screams.