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Planting Pansies
Jacqueline Jules


The garden store has flats of pansies.
Hardy enough to bounce back after a frost,
they promise spring color before it's safe
for impatiens or petunias.
I head home with twenty-four plants,
purple faces cheerfully grinning.
and spend the morning in a coat,
carving holes with a hand shovel.
Turning moist earth, I recall
that my father taught me
to position plants before digging
and gently loosen tangled roots.
Daddy used to say it's more practical
to purchase perennials, plants that come
back year after year like returning memories.
But today I put my faith in pansies,
heart-shaped petals not too fragile
for the lingering chill in the air.

© by Jacqueline Jules.
Used here with the author's permission.


Jacqueline Jules is a former librarian who found herself intrigued by almost every book she put on the shelf.  As a reader and as a writer, she doesn’t restrict herself to one genre. She is the author of 50 books for young readers on a wide variety of topics, including two poetry books for young readers, Tag Your Dreams: Poems of Play and Persistence (Albert Whitman, 2020), and Smoke at the Pentagon: Poems to Remember (Bushel & Peck, 2023). Jacqueline is also the author of four poetry books for adults, including a collection of biblically inspired poems, Manna in the Morning (Kelsay Books, 2021). After 26 years in Virginia, she moved to Long Island to be closer to her grandchildren. Learn more about her at



Post New Comment:
Thank you for the life lesson and reminding me to pursue the "promise (of) spring color before it's safe.
Posted 03/05/2024 08:10 AM
Lori Levy:
Beautiful poem. Especially like the last stanza.
Posted 03/04/2024 01:56 PM
Pansies are perfect to sprinkle color back to the garden! Loved the visual of heart shaped pedals that you'll be enjoying after the quiet frost.
Posted 03/04/2024 11:30 AM
Wilda Morris:
I also like the dad's role in this poem and the poet's decision to ignore it this time! I like those "purple faces grinning."
Posted 03/04/2024 10:59 AM
I also enjoyed the inclusion of dad and his advice. I admit a guilty twinge when I ignore my late fathers suggestions.
Posted 03/04/2024 09:34 AM
Larry Schug:
I like the way the father is brought into this poem. We never forget what Daddy told us. Plus, it's nice to have a vision of pansies planted in my head.
Posted 03/04/2024 07:51 AM

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