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An orchid in the east window
Of the thirty growing here, my favorite.
That all summer blossomed, redolent
Of citrus and ginger
A scent that wafted through the morning
Until the sun’s departure left it silent.
As if on a mission
It had always bloomed on my birthday.
I thought it always would.

Today, I touched a yellowing leaf.
It came off in my hand.
A second, then a third.
Foul water had collected
Inside the handsome pot that housed it.
A month ago, I’d found it, poured it off
Too late, it sobbed
Though the leaves were firm
The core was rotten.
I pulled it up, peered at its roots
Black patter, white carpet

Hope dissolved.


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