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A Quarterly Journal
Jeffrey Woodward, Founder & General Editor
Volume 10, Number 3, September 2016
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Janet Lynn Davis
Grimes County, Texas, USA


Genus Dianthus

In my hand, a memento I consider purchasing from the little shop at the botanical gardens. "Do you know what flower this is?" I ask. The kindly man at the desk seems eager to help me. "Hmm, it appears to be apink. Not all pinks are pink, you know; some are red, for instance," he offers. "And are you aware that the name pink comes from pinking shears—the serrated edges similar to the edges of the petals?"

(Can't say I am. Ever-the-novice gardener, I don't even realize at this moment that I have variously colored clumps of pinks, which I have only ever referred to as Dianthus, in front of my own house.)

I putter around the shop a little longer. Then the man shows me a page in a thick reference book, enthusiastically pointing to an illustration that bears a resemblance to the petite flower on this souvenir. "Look!" Before I leave, back to my life far away from shaded trails and lush displays of flora, I remind myself that attentiveness like this doesn't exist just anywhere.

painted
by a local artist
a dish so small
it holds nothing
but a memory

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