Nobody can keep on being angry if she looks into the heart of a pansy for a little while.
One has to wonder where they got
their reputation for pansiness.
Purple and proud, or any color
you might imagine, they grow
where they want to grow, despite the cold,
so much unlike their flashy cousins,
impatiens, petunias, scarlet sage,
petals falling off at first frost,
hardly hearty at all.
Keep your prima donna blossoms,
loud and boastful annuals, brief
and seedless. I’ll take the pansies
of the world, unassuming, resilient,
quietly doing what they know to do
~Scott Owen “Pansies”
As a seed, I was shot out the back end of a blue jay
when, heedless, she flew over the meadow.
She had swallowed me in my homeland when she spied me
lying easy under the sun—briefly, I called her Mother
before I passed through her gullet like a ghost.
In a blink of God’s eye I was an orphan. I trembled
where I fell, alone in the dirt. That first night
was a long night, early May and chilly, and I remember
rain filled my furrow. I called out for mercy—
only a wolverine wandered by. I cursed my luck,
I cursed the happenstance of this world, I smelled
his hot stink, but he nosed me deep into the mud—
this was the gift of obscurity. I germinated, hidden
from the giants of earth, the jostling stalks,
the various, boisterous bloomers, and this was my salvation.
After seven days and nights I pushed through—
yes. Here I am, kissable: your tiny, purple profusion.
~Lisa Bellamy “Wild Pansy”
The world is in sore need of a cure for the grumbles.
Fortunately, it exists right outside in our back yards, along sidewalks and in vacant lots.
A cheerful face is irresistible to all but the crabbiest among us, guaranteed to bring a smile every time.
Beyond the obvious charm exists a depth of heart — roots able to thrive in the thinnest of soil, at home among rocks and weeds, resilient even when tromped on.
We carry its seeds on the tread of our boots in spite of our grumbling and help spread the good news: anger left unfed will dry up and blow away.
Yet the constant heart of the pansy will last. It keeps smiling back.
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