by Michael Mark
They pull to a stop and contemplate
the long stem.
“An orchid,” she forces from her mouth’s
A stroke put her in the wheelchair.
Diabetes took his legs.
“Someone should dump it,” he says. “What
good is the thing without a flower?”
When the speakers announce dinner,
they roll off to their rooms.
Later, the cleaning woman will throw
the plant away or ignore it or
take it home in a plastic bag to nurse
back to health, leaving
the vase dusted clean
enough to see one’s reflection.