Bee Orchid

We returned to the Byzantine path’s
Camomile-strewn marble pavement
And dusty oregano to look again,
Before the snails, for the bee orchid.

Pollineum like a brain, the brainy
Bumble-bee disguise. On our knees
Among wild garlic, almost at prayer,
We forget about adder and lizard,

And nearly missed in a juniper
The blackcap’s jet black. We waited
And waited for his connoisseur’s
Restrained aria among the prickles.

Michael Longley

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