Drove up to Elsie's garden, my head in the radio,
counting measures and checking forms.
I raise my eyes just to park and...
Jolted into Eden, an ecstasy of brilliant color,
as with a cold slap I'm awakened.
These irises (the eyes?) are a queen's purple, a ransom of gold,
fringed, bearded, double ruffled about their delicate mouths,
waiting for me, lush as Sheba.
Lemon yellow bearded coral, glacier white fringed,
all with a calligraphy of magenta.
Rust-red and egg-yolk yellow.
I regain my breath, and big tears, here in Elsie's garden.
Tante, at ninety-two, fosters this ecstasy of color,
and scent of peony, double, triple, magenta and snow.
As I go to knock at the door,
I breathe deep, remembering the grace of my DNA,
the colors, the purple, saying "this is me,"
my old Tante in her garden,
pulling a miracle of flowers from the unsuspecting soil,
this is me, I weep, I love, I remember, I belong.
Annelinde Metzner copyright 2006
(photo by Patty Levesque)