Irises… A Poem



Purple, smelling like grape juice.
Polly said once, many years ago now,
a neighbor divided the roots,
carried them across a lawn.
“Could you use any irises?
They’re the deep purple ones.
Bloom in June and smell just like grape juice.”
And each spring
they kept dividing,
kept getting carried
to where a neighbor
bent over a garden.
Polly said all the houses on our street
have deep purple irises,
smelling just like grape juice.

Before we left I took my spade,
dug deep into the soil
next to the kitchen door;
the one for neighbors.

a little girl came running
“Mommy, there’s a purple one!”
She always tells me of new flowers.
We’ve had tulips and trillium,
one little lilac and a long path of pink lady slippers.

I smile at her,
here in the woods,
not a neighbor in sight.
“Smell them,” I say.
“They smell just like grape juice.”

2 thoughts on “Irises… A Poem

  1. Lara,
    You are my favorite poet. With this little poem, you have conveyed so much. You have connected a little girl’s magical discovery of a beautifully colored flower with a memory of a lady who long ago shared with neighbors something so lovely. The lady’s additional comment that they smell just like grape juice adds to the delight this wonderful blossom produces! Your poetry typically describes something which on the surface seems like a simple ordinary moment, yet your poems always carry a deeper universal meaning. This one in particular speaks to me of Connection to Others and Special Places Even When Separated By Distance or by Time. It is a lovely poem.

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