Most of the year an amaryllis is dormant,
doesn’t need water, doesn’t need light.
One by one they wake
of a sudden thirsty for water and for light.

They push out a leaf, or a few leaves,
and push up a center stalk absurdly tall
with a bulb the size of a human fist.


Sometimes there are two bulbs and two huge showy flowers open.


Just for kitchen company,
a rare blue Valentine’s Day orchid.


This plant flowered two weeks
before any of the others woke up,
in defiance of last week’s snow.
Necessarily one of them has to be first,
not infrequently way before the rest.

Like the dove let loose from the ark,
looking for enough muddy ground to build a nest;
or, for the amaryllis, sufficiency of sunshine.

Orchid blooms blue and precious beyond imagining

unless it’s from food coloring.

The little buds will tell.