my perennial gardener
has gone to seed
      in February,
a cruel month.

In solidarity,
the fruits of his labor
feigned death
beneath frozen soil;

now they erupt
in tribute:

blueberries ripening—
in hues of lips,
succulent no more

spring tears of
rheumy eyes

crimson rhubarb


our land
of plenty


of Cupid’s time
for valentines,
just golden arrows
broken in heartache,
interred with snow and ice
what if I scatter…your toenails?
wouldn’t you sprout feet and legs
when spring reappears?
and if I sow…your fingertips (ghoulish pips)?
wouldn’t you grow hands and arms
to comfort me
life returns?

About the Author

Justine McCabe is a cultural anthropologist and practicing clinical psychologist with several academic publication credits. She enjoys writing letters to editors, several of which have been published in The New York Times. Her op-eds have been published in The Hartford Courant, The Litchfield County Times, and The CT Mirror as well as essays in Green Horizon Magazine. Her poetry has appeared in Avalon Literary Review, Brief Wilderness, Evening Street Review, Flights, and Poetic Sun.