A Sonnet for Plotting Amateurs


Deep Pink, the package claimed and photographed
our dream of gladiola sprays. We mapped
three dozen bulbs around our pastel plots
as complements, we thought, to bright-eyed phlox,
petunias, asters, salvia and mums
and contrasts to the brooding firs we’d come
to love. But amateurs miss facts: bees
are un-enamored of this color scheme
and weak-kneed hummingbirds whir by
thumbing wings at pinks and blues and whites.
We’d only half a natural world until
some mischief rescued our design. It filled
our yard with orange glads in mid-July,
then shrugged with birds and bees, So labels lie.

By Carolyn Martin

(First published in Antiphon, Spring 2014)


Carolyn Martin is blissfully retired in Clackamas, Oregon, where she gardens, writes, and plays. Her poems have appeared in journals throughout the US and UK.

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