at the Conservatory of Flowers after my mother passed away   


Did you know the Giant Pond Lilly

grows to eight feet across and is

strong enough to hold a human body

above the water, and that the Pitcher plant,


shaped like a pitcher, fills itself with enzymes

to digest insects lured into its wide mouth

by the appearance of blossom at the bottom?

Did you know that the skeletons of mice


have also been found in the pitcher’s well?

Did you know there is a mountain rose

that pretends its whole life to be a blue stone

and that there is a type of rhododendron


that can supply a thousand lapels

with the bursts from one twisted branch

or that there is a succulent that has

a bouquet more beautiful than the richest perfume?


Did you know that we are still discovering plants

that bloom upon the globe?  I didn’t

until I visited the Conservatory of Flowers

and read laminated fact sheets


on stakes plunged into the damp ground

and sat on a tree stump chair, thinking,

in the imitation heat and mist, thinking of

the lush and strange world from which I came


and to which I shall return, as a flower.

Perhaps the Daggered Irish Daisy,

a certain variety

that surrounds itself with spikes


and blossoms slowly, undiscovered,

like my mother.


© Dan O. 

Dan O., copyright 2017