The balsam has begun blooming in its bed in my yard. It started with the palest of pink blooms, and now a Pepto-Bismal peppermint pink has also opened. Hot pink is next, still tightly curled in its buds, but soon to unfurl.
This is a flower from Victorian gardens, from Emily Dickinson's garden. It is sensitive of seed pod, known as touch-me-not in some circles because the seeds will explode from the pod if touched. It is generous of frilly bloom. Its edges are like the ruffles on some lingerie sold in Victoria's Secret catalogs.
You will want to read or listen to Billy Collins's poem "Taking Off Emily Dickinson's Clothes," perhaps, on this Sunday morning. If so, here it is at the Writer's Almanac.
To get the book it's in, you can go here, or find it also in Picnic, Lightning. To purchase the lingerie, go here. I don't know about those shoes. They scare me.
"You must change your life," said Rilke. So that's what I keep doing. I worked as an actor and director in Chicago, wrote for an encyclopedia, edited two poetry journals, shelved and retrieved materials in several libraries, walked beans, and was an assistant professor of English. Now I serve as Poetry Editor and Editor at Large for Escape Into Life, an online arts magazine, write & edit as a freelancer, blog "eight days a week," study the random, tend perennials, and listen to birdsong.