Shrinking Violets

wild violets grew
along the dirt road’s hillside
shrinking, they were not
when picked by Mother in May
to brighten our old kitchen

©2021 KT Workman

(Note: A tanka is a form of Japanese poetry made up of 5 lines containing 31 syllables. The 1st line has 5 syllables; 2nd, 7 syllables; 3rd , 5 syllables; 4th , 7 syllables; 5th, 7 syllables. It can have any theme.)

Image by Ulrike Leone from Pixabay


Long ago in another, kinder time
Two wildflowers grew sheltered in the yard.
One emerged first, thought this fertile place fine,
Bloomed the palest of yellow, then stood guard
As the smaller one poked up, the climb hard;
But not as hard as it was for Yellow
Who blazed the way for the tiny fellow.

In time, the small one bloomed stubborn and red,
Danced with Yellow through the balmy, bright days.
Together, they slept in the tulip bed
At night, ‘neath a star-studded, velvet haze,
And basked in Spring’s eyes, her warm, loving gaze.
Happy and content, they remained well hid
Among the proud tulips, safe from vile men.

Then, without warning pale Yellow was plucked
And thrown from the bed over the tall fence,
While Red survived because she swiftly ducked.
Lonely, Red wondered where Yellow went hence,
That her companion was gone, made no sense.
Red was a survivor, though, and held tight,
But soon was snatched up, yanked hard and took flight.

Over the tall, safe fence, Red also sailed,
Landed roots first in an open meadow
Chock-full of other wilds, spooking a quail.
Red asked, “Have you seen a bloom of yellow?”
Pointing its brown wing, “There!” the quail bellowed.
Red tracked the wing, saw pale Yellow nearby,
Waving gay petals ‘neath the clear, blue sky.

Playing in the green meadow God had made,
Pale Yellow and Red spent all summer’s time
Till a fall wind blew Yellow far away
To a place Red searched for but could not find.
There, Yellow nurtures small others of kind.
Red wandered the field, in time fading pink,
Reached the far side, now withers in concrete.

©️2021 KT Workman

(Note: rhyme royal poem—7-line stanzas, 10 syllables per line, written in iambic pentameter.

Rhyme scheme: a-b-a-b-b-c-c)

Image by Annette Meyer from Pixabay