I have two orchids in a chill window.
Their backs to the snow, they proffer
fuschia heads on fragile spines,
curving toward this room where I sit,
chill and not so gracefully curving
toward the work of blooming.
We have two wars that we know of,
Both, we are asked to believe
against all the odds and all of history
as I read it, will bring safety to the homeland,
whose homeland I raise my head to wonder?
I have two choices every morning
One: to create a day of purpose and practice,
The other: to hunker down in my discomfort
zone failing to imagine how my efforts might lift
by so much as a snowflake’s weight
the mantle of senseless suffering,
might slow the blizzards of spin
while systems fail.
I have two friends in the nuclear winter
of grief. One: her daughter murdered,
makes art and community in a fury.
The Other: his son dead to despair,
will marry, come spring, his longtime love.
Taking my cues from orchids,
from friends avalanche-swept and
willing to claw upward toward air,
I turn my hand, however inexpertly,
to the task of continuing to raise
fragile blooms, this poem for instance,
out of the random and deepening snows.
Mary Pierce Brosmer