In a moment of weariness with
who he has become, a sex trader
tells the six frightened girls cornered
in the back of a laundry that he will
let one go. They pull hairs and the
longest is left behind. That night,
on her father’s small farm, a little
worm carrying blight tires and lands
on the elm, sparing the willow. The
next season, a sudden gust through
the willow pushes the bee to the next
flower, which given the chance becomes
an orchid that an aging artist talks to
rather than paints. His students think
him mad, except the one who will show
us the inside of beauty. He stays on and
his teacher says in their fourth talk with
the orchid, “I’ve done away with brushes
and paints.” And the spring after the teach-
er dies, the girl with the longest hair, much
quieter than most, seems an orchid her-
self, when the younger artist, so busy with
his paints, sees her reading near a pond.
They will learn each other’s histories, but
all depends on the tiredness that makes him
stop and the wind that lifts her face so they
might see each other in this long moment
of complete rendering. In time, they will
build their raft of love and set out
on the soft, relentless sea.
This is from my new book of poems, The Way Under The Way.
Check out Mark’s Events page at http://threeintentions.com/events for Mark’s upcoming in-person and online events.
July 9, 16 & 23: You Don’t Have to Do It Along: The Net of Friendship. A 3-session virtual webinar guided by Mark Nepo 1-2:30pm ET/10-11:30am PT. Details at Live.MarkNepo.com.
Aug 4-6: Omega Institute, Rhinebeck, NY, Surviving Storms: Finding the Strength to Meet Aversity, Weekend Retreat. (web link)