Now that I'm free to be myself, who am I?
~ Mary Oliver, "Blue Iris"
Memories, tugged like stuck socks behind a drawer,
come flying at me as I scroll through floral images.
I think of waves, my mother's eyes in the mirror.
Newly married. I walked home from work, up the road
from coastal terrace to the ridge. Blooms I had thought
were planted, never having seen wild ones before.
Years later. Mother of two girls. Another pacific town.
These iris were planted, had grown into a tangled crush
through years of neglect. A friend showed how to divide.
Off another coast. April evening on Block Island. I listened
to Mary Oliver read in her quiet way. Next day I ventured
a signature. Chose the Red Bird over the Blue Iris to offer.
Another Spring. Blooming. Birds nesting. Birds in flight.
Birthing of horny crone. Full of fear yet unafraid. Rooted
yet tossed by wild wind. Contradictions. I wish to see
my own eyes.
Today you must go to Bill Noble's blog to see his lovely pictures of the native Douglas Iris.
Today's prompt at Not Without Poetry was an interesting one. These images brought back a number of memories. Of small Pacific Coast towns where we've lived and the irises seen growing there. And then I thought of the book of poetry "Blue Iris" by Mary Oliver and how I got to hear her read a few years ago in April on Block Island. And the first line in that poem. And my eyes, and what they've seen. What they see now. What they hope to see.