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A Quarterly Journal
Jeffrey Woodward, Founder & General Editor
Volume 9, Number 2, June 2015

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Mary Frederick Ahearn
Pottstown, Pennsylvania, USA


At the Marketplace

The birds sang in the wet trees
And as I listened to them it was a hundred years from now.
And I was dead and someone else was listening to them.
But I was glad I had recorded for him the melancholy.

      —Patrick Kavanagh, "Wet Evening in April," Collected Poems

In early April, days before Easter and Passover, the local supermarket sets up displays of pansies for sale outside their doors, close to the parking lot. The flowers are a joy; in shades of lavender, velvety purple, and soft yellow, they are an emblem of spring’s return, rebirth and the revival of our spirits after the long, harsh winter.

easing the egg
into the dye . . .
the waxing of the moon

Sadly though, the pansies are wilting. On the tiered shelves under the store's overhang, they are bone dry, dying. Someone forgot to tell someone else to water them. A busy store manager has already declared them a loss, "ready for the trash bins," not worth keeping, and doomed.

Holy Week
another day
closer to Coventry

The next day finds me back at the store, some other errand, some forgotten item. Expecting to find the flowers gone, I am surprised to find them alive and well, vibrant, well-watered, their stems strong and green. Alive.

loving kindness
for the little things
our acts of contrition

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