Jacquelyn Markham’s Poem, “Irises”

Peering Into The Iris An Ancestral Journey Book Cover



“take me home

where canals



between iris-banks”




I peer into this iris mother

center deep with violet

down to succulent stem   entrance

to earth   nourishment   blue perfume

floats to summer days

Michigan cool


iris bed     lily of the valley sweetness

shadows on the north side of the house

years’ old mountain of forsythia bush lush

under the secret dome of branches

yellow flowerets   light interiors of spring

changed now to a summer cave of moss

black earth and silence   for a child



where were they all? the children?

taking naps? at school? leaving only you and me

you left me to myself

in my haven   feeling you there

from window looking out

buffalo grass my pillow   thick and cold

only one white jet stream cutting

azure sky in an entire afternoon


a clatter of plates would wake me

kitchen bright and steaming

reaching out   I would come to you

lily of the valley bouquet

an offering


damp fragrance of irises in my hair



Jacquelyn Markham