The Purple Iris
by Theodora Goss
There was one purple iris in a bed
where many would be blooming in two weeks,
and I thought, what made you come out so early?
Did you hear birds and think, it’s summer now,
time to get started? But it’s only May.
You should have waited until June, when all
your brothers would be blooming, purple, lilac,
yellow — heraldic, looking very French.
Or was it an interior impulse, rather
than something external to yourself? Whatever
there is in irises of soul or mind
telling you — now. Now is the time to open.
I suppose we all have something in us like that,
a sense, an intuition, telling us
now. Open yourself to wind and weather,
put on your purple velvet fringed with yellow,
fulfill your purpose, whether late or early,
even if it’s only May and winter’s chill
still lingers, though the garden is filled with birdsong.
Even if you’re the only iris blooming
in that particular bed.
(The painting is The Iris by Vincent Van Gogh.)