Shadows, Hibiscus

She’s waiting
under wide jade leaves that don't
belong in this city, at this latitude.
Too bright. A fine piped-in silver mist
can’t obscure them. Executive suites
pay the bill for fat stems filled
with rainforest water, great toothed leaves
like fans at rest. And there she sits
exotic, waiting for you, two amber eyes
behind a tropical plant. She’s learned
to be invisible. Can you see her?
The young men with shiny black duffles
slung on their shoulders don’t,
the white shirts dark pants the money
in their pockets. The bumpy old woman
with mop and brushes, the ancient
beige gentleman who's pushing trash --
they know this place to its crevices
but they haven't discovered her. A black-
&-white prowl car sweeps the parking lot
and misses. From behind, she stirs
the leaves enough to remind you
of a breeze. There isn't any, and yet

she breathes, two eyes behind a plant
that shouldn't grow here.

Taylor Graham

If you have any comments on this poem, Taylor Graham would be pleased to hear from you.