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In the Shadow.

 The wild pansy shoves its persistent face beneath
     the hackberry's shade, true plum and gold,
with the alternate names: Johnny jump up,
     heartsease, or my favorite, love-in-idleness.
I bow closer to the new face. I am always superimposing
     a face on flowers, I call the violet moon vinca
the choir, and there are surely eyes in the birdeye speedwell,
     and mouths on the linearleaf snapdragon.
It is what we do in order to care for things, make them
     ourselves, our elders, our beloveds, our unborn.
But perhaps that is a lazy kind of love. Why
     can't I just love the flower for being a flower?
How many flowers have I yanked to puppet
     as if it was easy to make flowers, for anything to live.

Ada Limon, a current Guggenheim fellow, is the author of five poetry collections, including The Carrying, which won the National Book Critics Circle Award for Poetry. Her fourth book, Bright Dead Things, was named a finalist for the National Book Award, a finalist for the Kingsley Tufts Poetry Award, and a finalist for the National Book Critics Circle Award. She serves on the faculty of Queens University of Charlotte Low Residency M.F.A program and lives in Lexington, Kentucky.

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Title Annotation:FIVE POEMS
Author:Limon, Ada
Publication:The American Poetry Review
Article Type:Sonnet
Date:Nov 1, 2020
Previous Article:Banished Wonders.
Next Article:It Begins with the Trees.

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