iris

At the woods’ edge, three yellow hats: iris gone feral. A hummingbird rockets back and forth through the lilac, showing off for a female.

The chickadee flies in with food and flies out with a fecal sac. In the meadow, yellow iris like a tour group in a crowd of dame’s-rocket.

The first purple irises are opening along the rock wall, their three petals descending like the landing gear on spaceships.

The first irises have opened in the night, some with red and yellow tongues, some with violet, sampling the morning air.

Two grackles appear at the woods’ edge, iridescent black against the brightest green of the year. In the garden, the first yellow iris.

In the tall grass beside the road, two yellow iris—last survivors of that phalanx planted 30 years ago, when we still dreamt of order.

After decades of segregation by color, the irises in my garden seem to have interbred: beside the porch, yellow petals with purple wings.