Like a Peony

Erika Burkhalter
2 min readJun 2, 2018


Peony, photo by Erika Burkhalter

Like a peony opening to the sun,

unfurling its ruffled skirts,

allowing the warmth to touch its blood red petals,

the flamenco dancer swirls at center stage….

the focus of all the attention, yet oblivious, lost in the dance —

and, yet, wakened only by the dance.

As a soul opens to the infinite,

and a lover awakens to the feel

of warm breath on her neck

and fingers in her hair and along her spine,

The dancer awakens to the sensation

of sweat upon her skin,

its saltiness on her lip,

and to the fluidity of her hips.

And the moment is fleeting….

The peony’s petals begin to fade.

And the dancer begins to remember

The love of a moment past.

Her bare feet graze the cool marble floor.

She misses a small step.

She can almost smell him,

and the scent of their mingled love.

The feel of crimson lace

swirling around her legs

reminds her of the feel

of her lover between her thighs.

And, she aches for him.

The familiar squeeze of her chest,

and a stifled sense of loss flooding her limbs

brings her back to the moment.

And she dances on….

For it is the dance

and all of the tiny, fragile steps and glances,

and heartbreaks and heartbursts

that matter.



Erika Burkhalter

Photographer, yogi, cat-mom, lover of travel and nature, spreading amazement for Mother Earth, one photo, poem or story at a time. (MA Yoga, MS Neuropsychology)