The Iris

The Iris
by Theodora Goss

All of life is trouble.
It is trouble simply to get out of bed in the morning,
to leave the safety of cool sheets, like swaddling clothes
or shrouds. Each evening,
we crawl back into the darkness we first came from
and to which we are continually returning:
the sea, the womb, the grave.

It is trouble to put on our clothes, fitting ourselves
into the general fabric of society, to find
as we look at ourselves in the badly
lit bathroom mirror, the right mindset
to face the day. To remain polite, productive,
from our pocket handkerchiefs
to our socks. We tie our shoe laces and tighten
the straps of our wrist watches.

It is trouble to walk out into the street
without being hit by a bus, without
tripping over the curb. To get through the day
without tripping over our intentions or a joke.

On the other hand, consider:
it is trouble for the iris
to push itself up through the ground,
to unfurl its purple standards, despite wind and rain,
so bees can rub themselves against the yellow fur
on its lighter sepals.

So that you, walking in the park,
with your lunch in a brown paper bag, can sit on a bench
and lose yourself in a range of blues and purples
as deep as twilight.

(The image is Irises by Claude Monet.)

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