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Monday, April 22, 2013

POEM #22- IRIS

Irises by Vincent Van Gogh, via Mary Lee Hahn, in the public domain, Wikimedia Commons


I'm participating in Mary Lee Hahn's poetry challenge, Common Inspiration, Uncommon Creations. When I saw today's "prompt," I immediately thought of iris I planted in the front yard of the first house I ever owned. That was twenty years ago, but the iris are still there. Every summer I drive by and admire them.


"Iris"

I find them one day
in a brown paper bag
in the teacher's lounge
bumpy white bulbs
withered brown leaves
stringish  roots
covered in dry dirt.
A sign on the bag says
IRIS- FREE TO A GOOD HOME.
I am told not to take too many
they will take over my yard
I select ten.

I am not a gardener.
do not know that iris
like to be planted
in mid to late summer
in groups of two or three
four inches down
with nitrogen fertilizer
in half sun.
I throw them in the ground
and forget about them.

The next summer
my paltry efforts
are rewarded
with a rainbow of richness-
kingly purple,
a deep velvety night black,
tawny lion's mane gold
and palest lemon yellow.

All that loveliness
pulled from a brown paper bag
in the teacher's lounge.

(c) Carol Wilcox, 2013

2 comments:

Linda at teacherdance said...

They do have their stories, & yours is a rich one, Carol. What a nice thing that you go by that house & 'visit' your iris. I left mine behind this time. Perhaps I'll go all out & buy some new ones this year? You made me also remember my grandmothers' gardens-a flower for everyone I suppose. Thanks! I missed Mary Lee's pic today!

Beverley Baird said...

I love these flowers. I haven't grown any - but love to admire them anywhere they grow.
Love your poem - as always. You bring us along with your memories.