Impatiens Antique plant drawn by Pierre-Joseph Redouté(1759-1840 )

by Robert Claps

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.

Robert Claps lives in his native Connecticut, near Long Island Sound, with his family and rescue dogs. Retired after a career in software development, he does odd jobs to stay out of trouble. Recent work has appeared in Margie, Image, Crab Creek Review, Two Bridges, and has been nominated for a Pushcart Prize. A full length manuscript, Jump Shots At Sixty, will be published by Antrim Books.

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