August 4, 2020

The Pink Lady's Slipper by Peggy Turnbull

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. 

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