Saturday, October 9, 2010
IRISES: A Poem
I’ve planted Irises in my garden
Old-fashioned purples with yellow centers
I recall them in Mom’s flower bedsAlong with the salmons and browns
And brilliant red Cannas
She weeded them, bent over
Her mind a million miles away in thought
My horse, Fanny, nipped her shoulder once
While she was weeding
Fanny, velvet nose, horsey smell that I love
My fantasy-come-true mare who
Flashed an angry look at those she did not trust
But she nipped my Mom playfully, innocently
Irises…my great aunt Sylvia grew them, too
And Grandma and Dad (we grandchildren called him)
Aunt Jean had them growing along the sidewalk
I can smell their heavy fragrance from memory
Bundled into a glass vase and placed on the dining room table
They lined the front porch where I stood
With broom handle microphone and sang at the top of my lungs
Where I pulled Fanny up close so that I could swing my leg
Across her broad back
Mom would bring iced lemonade and set us in front of the fan
On those summer-days, so humid it was difficult to breath….
Like sticking-your-head-in-the-oven hot
Mom was warmth and kindness and safety….
Does she know she still is?
She says, at 82 she is ready to go
But does she know my more-than-weekly phone calls are not just for her?
I need her still….to tell my stories to
And knowing she is OK and interested in scrap booking,
Reading, Days of Our Lives, life
Lets me keep believing in unconditional love, in God….
I water the Irises, long past their spring blooms
It is fall and leaves are floating through the air
I think of Mom, go inside my studio that overlooks the garden
And pick up the phone
October 8, 2009