A POEM by MICHAEL HALLER

PURPLE ORCHIDS



I

The field of purple orchids was her private garden.


But the old people said, there’s no such thing

as a field of purple orchids.


She looked in the encyclopedia. There was nothing about purple orchids. But she knew the flowers were real because she smelled them, and touched them, and felt them against her legs when she walked among them. She was happy no one knew about her garden, because that way it was hers and hers only.


But the old people said,

You can’t go to a place not real.

You can’t go into that field

because that field is only in your head.


She smoked her bong. She knew they were wrong.

She walked the field of orchids.


She lay on the earth.

She sang a silent song.

She rubbed the purple petals,

rubbed them on her face. She smiled

because she knew that this place

was hers and that only good things

could happen here, because nothing happened

that she didn’t want to happen,

all she had to do was wish.


II



She lies in her garden, the orchids

growing over her, and no one

can find her, because

they don’t know where to look.


At night she climbs the sky.

She sees you sleeping

and takes you

into her dreams.


Lie beside her and

look in her eyes the stars

looking back at you.

In the morning

she returns to

her field.

The day is yours.

 

Michael Haller is a writer based in Cincinnati. His work has appeared in X-R-A-Y Literary Magazine, Five on the Fifth, Across the Margin, Maudlin House, and Blue Unicorn.