Jeanette Stokes

Mother’s Irises

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The irises in my garden were blooming vigorously last Sunday when I left for a week of writing at the beach. I captured the tall pale yellow bearded ones with my camera, for fear that they would finish blooming before I returned home. Sure enough, when I got home today, the blooms were all gone.

My mother grew irises in a bed by the driveway of the house where we lived when I started to school. Some were purple, some yellow. and one variety was almost the color of cordovan shoe leather. One day, I as I ran through the yard and past the iris bed, I tripped over the curb at the edge of the driveway. I went sprawling onto the rough concrete, badly scraping my hands and knees. Screaming and crying, I ran into the house, where Mother set me on the counter in the kitchen and gently tended my wounds.

More than 50 years later, what lingers is the faint scent of irises and my mother’s tenderness.

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