Late-May, and it’s safe at last here
in Connecticut to plant impatiens,
my wife unloading flats of them, red
and white by the mailbox, pink and
three shades of purple for our front walk.
A month ago, snow still covered the ground,
and Carol, the grieving mother, shut down,
letting reruns of Law and Order
anesthetize the afternoons. But today
even the cardinal tattooed above her heart
sings its one sweet note, peeking out
above the ripped blue tank top as she
kneels, her hands in the earth again,
this time not to feel for messages from her daughter,
but to dig holes, untangle the roots,
set in the impatiens, and firm the soil around them.
Published in Cider Press Review, Volume 23, Issue 1.
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