Some of my mother’s irises always bloom
for Mother’s Day – she never cut them
but a wind-broken stem would be vased
though it saddened her looking so alone.
Flying white standards, bearded with purple falls —
the closest she ever came to royalty.
Royal Storm bearded iris
Calendar autumn. Morning winter. Frost on windshields.
But in this room, spring hydrangea blooms
from a greenhouse or a somewhere spring.
Unthinking, it doesn’t feel out of season,
misplaced in time and space. I do.
Vase of Dahlias, 1883, Claude Monet
I cut dahlias to fill the vase
so that they would greet you today
when you returned from the doctor’s office –
but you didn’t notice them until now.
You said they looked sad and wilted.
An elegant name for what is often
considered a weed. Wild carrot. White flower.
They recall a runner my mother placed
on the dining room table for holidays.
A purple drop from a wine glass.
The hot days and cool nights marked
by garden tiger lilies and roadside rogues
and early cherry tomatoes that I pick
and eat here in my shaded chair –
book, pencil, paper, iced tea, these words.