Poetry Corner – October 2014

Chrysanthemum

TO MY DAUGHTER ON HER WEDDING DAY
I found a Lady’s Slipper on a bed of moss in the forest once
near a gurgling mountain stream, among the clover and thistle,
prickly pear, mushrooms and chamomile,
in a clearing all by itself it lay
surrounded by burdocks and heather,
Its soft petals bled purple in the autumn sun
Dripping with the moist kiss of morning,
It bade me near her,
In awe I moved to see her better.
She shimmered and glistened and glowed in the lifting haze
catching the first light of the day.
When I stooped to study her face a little more
I thought—a tiny maiden is blushing there
hidden ‘neath a verdant canopy,
sitting on her bawdy bed, waiting patiently
alone on the forest floor,
no other flower near, nor tree, nor fern,
nor even a weed in the moor to keep her company,
Or hear her weep when she rises alone from her gentle sleep.
She lay quietly and bent, her golden head turned down
her face buried deep under an opulent breast,
her firey charm unmatched and rare
as though heaven-sent, her hair thoroughly alit
with all the colors of the sunrise.
I thought I’d take her from her bed that day
for a little girl, who loved flowers, sunshine, and rain—
And things I never knew existed, except in a child’s eyes.
As I reached out to lift the splendid Lady’s veil,
I felt a quiver start along the slippery stem—I stopped –
It moved and shivered in my hand
A breeze had stirred her delicate skin,
Perhaps.
I don’t know.
It seemed to shudder under my grasp
until I opened my hand and let her go.
I wanted to take her up by the stem and
carry her back to my tinky little friend,
but then—at the moment she balked—I thought,
I should not right then, but wait until the spring
When—that child, who so loved rare things
Would walk with me arm in arm
down some country lane, or an aisle
And I would lean and whisper in her ear
And tell her about the time that I was here,
and saw a Lady’s Slipper that lay on a mossy bed
in a forest near a mountain stream, on a crisp autumn morn,
and how the sunlight gleamed and set her beauty ablaze.
My precious gift would last throughout her days
A memory for her to keep within her breast
to believe its beauty might still be there
and share her secret with her special friend
each and every day,
Forever and ever and ever.

R + D Misc 066

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