At The Orchid Pavilion

By Ann Robinson

 

The hothouse ones inveigle you
through their soft portals
to an empty chamber.

No comfort to be had here,
only the pronged tongue,
the haughty cup.

Still, you stare at those African colors
as if they could talk to you.

Simply to breathe their air
puts them to death,
or so the vendor says—
you pause at that shadow.

Last night, you traced
the fragile spots of your body,
dim openings of childhood,
the way he sauntered into a room—
the scars on your wrists.

Thwarting your desire
is their beauty and loss.

You step closer to those empty flowers—
the vendor says stop,
and you do.

Ann Robinson attended the MFA program at the University of Arkansas after receiving a B.A. in English literature from Lindenwood University. Having retired from being a legal clerk in the Criminal Division of the Superior Court of Marin County, California, she currently owns a farming operation in Arkansas.  She has been the recipient of the John Spaemer Award for Outstanding Fiction, a Marin Arts Council grant, and a scholarship to study at a Hofstra University conference.  She also studied with Kathleen Fraser, Miller Williams, and Thomas Centolella. 



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