The Iris Thief

I am an Iris thief
pilfering lost fields
a gleaner of abandoned, rebellious gardens
that hold on and wait
under collapsed, rotted boards
that charcoal the already black soil


far off the highways
devalued land erupts with history
steeped in forgetfulness
stirred from sleep
in colors carefully chosen
to rise again, victorious

I started young
wandering into the years
time’s hitchhiker
I walked through goodbye doorways
into homesick rooms
digging out splinters of memory

once, turning over a board, there I was
mirrored in a portrait, on wood
etched with fine burned lines, a woman
caught in thought, fingers resting on her chin
potted geraniums beside her
stolen, brown irises at her feet

The Iris Thief


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