In the sunlight where you don’t expect me, I quiver. Beyond the ferns on a lakeside dune,
mingling with the daisies and the hawkweed, I relax in their sturdiness and cheer,
a swollen orchid unnoticed until a through-hiker steps over me. On a moonless night, he lies nearby,
sunk in the soft grass, and listens to the night’s heave
and cry. I think I am ordinary as the cattails
that gather in the swamp with their brown spikes
and green blades. With him, I am a sunset, in colors
that shift and flame. My green arms embrace him until
the robin’s song. When he leaves, I wonder
if I’ll bloom again. "Stop crying, Lady’s Slipper," I hear the daisies tell me, “Your life is long,
with more chances ahead.” They are happy and so easy. But that is not me.
I bury myself into the loam, remembering.
Peggy Turnbull is a retired librarian from Manitowoc, Wisconsin. Her poetry has been recently published in Writing in a Woman’s Voice, Quatrain. Fish, and Bluepepper. Her debut chapbook, The Joy of Their Holiness was published by Kelsay Books in July 2020.