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November Impatiens

April 2, 2008

they dangle from a large
porch planter’s edge,
yesterday pinks and reds heaped
high after long summer, mild fall, delayed
cold, reduced overnight to nothing, no twinge
of color left, limp stems you cringe,
coming and going, to glimpse, but once inside,

forget. My father calls to say
my mother is in the hospital, knee
given out three hundred
miles away; morphine-tongued, she babbles later about my
broken-legged father’s meal delivery schedule, my brother’s anger, my
husband, out of town again.

by Wendy Vardaman

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  1. April 2, 2008 at 11:38 am

    Tight and sharp and surprising. You packed a lot of punch into 14 lines.

  2. April 2, 2008 at 9:56 pm

    If you cut them way back, they might come back from the stubs. (I would try it.) “Impatiens” is a great title/focus for this packed poem.

  3. April 3, 2008 at 9:37 am

    A lot of truth in this good poem that speaks to my own current situation too. Thanks, Wendy.

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