Published on Academy of American Poets (https://poets.org)


The Orchid Flower

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.

Credit


From Dumb Luck by Sam Hamill, published by BOA Editions. Copyright © 2002 by Sam Hamill. Reprinted by permission of the author and publisher. All rights reserved.

Author


Sam Hamill

Sam Hamill authored fourteen volumes of poetry, including Almost Paradise: Selected Poems & Translations (Shambhala, 2005).

Date Published: 2002-01-01

Source URL: https://poets.org/poem/orchid-flower