bunch of pink impatiens

Fall’s descent

requires me to write

like God

in The Book of Life

which shall live

and which shall die.


Do I choose

the New Guinea impatien

that I have nurtured all summer

from its infant days

as a one-stemmed seedling

to its now-mounded ripeness

well past teenager-hood,

a full-breasted

marriageable beauty?


Or the shameless


that struts her crepey tart-orange blooms

opening herself to every day

with sure-rooted womanly confidence?

Or the variegated coleus

that could be tested

for steroid use

she has grown so spectacularly tall?


The ark is just

not big enough

to bring them all aboard.

Yet all are worthy,

at the peak of their lives

should be saved.


On this Yom Kippur-like

day of reckoning

for potted garden plants,

this erev when temperatures

will touch

the point of no return,

freezing arteries

that have faithfully carried

earthy sustenance

to gloriously blushed blossoms,

do I imagine those angels’ trumpets

davening minkhah

as the cold wind picks up:

Imeinu Malkateinu

our mother our queen

inscribe us in The Book of Life?

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