We saw them everywhere in the west of Ireland,
showy spikes of red-orange flowers, grass-like
leaves, gladiola’s more demure cousin. But glads
are flirty debutantes, rainbow-colored, ruffles galore.
While Crocosmia are plain half-slips, sticking
to their side of the color wheel: red-orange-yellow.
What they lack in variety, they make up in reliability,
tough enough to survive Irish winters. Corms
that can weather the cold. Graceful arches,
with catalog names like: Irish Sunset, Irish Dawn,
Coppertips, Falling Stars. Come spring,
they’ll ignite their green fire. Praise the power
of the small and hardy. The resurrection rising
out of duff and detritus. Watch their slow
small fires burn.
Barbara Crooker

poems online



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