Cymbidium – a poem by Barbara Harris Leonhard


He gifts her an orchid. Says,
Three ice cubes a week
So as not to drown it.
Her joints sound of cracked ice

As she gingerly accepts
My lush pink blooms
Of wet lips open
For drink & good light.

The house has no sun.
Unpruned branches of wild flora
Cluster close to windows for stories.
I hunger for light.

He checks the soil for cracks,
Strokes my leaves. I feel
Exposed as parched sand
To the sin of neglect.

My petals fade & spill
Off the delicate threads of stem
Clamped to wooden crutches
With plastic grippers.

Over time, prayers for bloom
Of days past, of moons set.
I am set on the threshold for sun
To grow a new face,

But storms make me drunk.
My roots, thirsty worms
All tangled in a mass,
Smell of depleted dirt.

My roots have swollen to rot.
I am tossed into a small brown patch
Of dead daisies by the front door.
My skirt, green tatters.

His eyes sting of the dismay of bees.
My crooked stems stretch
Into exclamation of death. With the sigh
Of the scattered hive,

He lifts my breathless form
Keeping the grippers & crutches
That support my sagging stem.
My roots bestrew his hands.

I awaken in a new bed
Between a sunflower & a tomato plant.
My greenery, carefully arranged palms,
Open for breeze & brume.


Barbara Harris Leonhard is a writer, poet, and blogger. Her work appears in Phoebe, MD: Medicine and Poetry, Well Versed 2020, Spillwords; FREE VERSE REVOLUTION; Heretics, Lovers and Madmen; Go Dog Go Café; Silver Birch Press; Amethyst Review;; and Vita Brevis. She is the author of Discoveries in Academic Writing, which is based on her years of teaching English as a Second Language at the University of Missouri. Poetry Blog:
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1 Comment

  1. Thank you, Sarah! I will share it!


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