Ghost Pipes
by MFrostDelaney

      Monotropa uniflora, also known as ghost plant, ghost pipe, or Indian pipe,
      is a perennial plant native to North America

A white so delicate they say, Don’t touch,
yet lure me like a pair of wrist-length gloves
the kind worn in the fifties to a dance
the kind that curl an index finger … Come.

But they don’t prance or swing. They stand so still
their heads bowed down as if they’re shy or coy
or maybe unfamiliar with their place,
surrounded by the fallen leaves that mix
and fluff and curl with needles from the pines.

The whole affair is canopied by air
and ivy in a stillness just before
a first-song chord, the softest waft of tune
a summer’s dusk can carry in its dim.

The pipes wear petals, satin taffeta
and stalks wrapped in the finest stocking silk.
If they could only dance, they might be named
the queen and king, the finest in their dress.
But they don’t need to dance to take their reign.

They’re crowned by glints of light as if an orb
of glitter sprinkles them with stardust specks
and moon-ray jewels, while they like royalty
accept their court, the pine needles, the leaves
who bow so low in acquiescence to
the Pipes who rule as peepers sing their lauds.


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