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Growing Lavender
Iris Lee Underwood


When you died in July,
I was sick of flowers,
picking through wilted
funeral arrangements.
I scorned nature’s cycle,
surrendered my gardens
to her wrath,
fall and winter.
Then I saw the red shoots
of spring’s peonies, fell
on my knees and pulled
quack grass from their roots.
I felt your life under
my fingernails, in my veins –
a transfusion
of who you were and are.
But it was the lavender,
the scent of heaven on my hands,
the song of the honeybees,
that went straight to my heart
and healed me.

From Growing Lavender, © 2004 by Iris Lee Underwood.
Used with the author’s permission.


Iris Lee Underwood is an author, poet, speaker, editor, consultant and journalist based in North Oakland County, Michigan. Author of Encouraging Words for All Seasons, a collection of essays about the happiness and hardships of family life, and Growing Lavender, a collection of poems, Iris's articles and columns have appeared in numerous publications. Past president of Detroit Working Writers (formerly Detroit Women Writers), and former Writer in Residence at the Troy Public Library, she presents a variety of literary-themed programs at libraries, community centers, women’s teas, and at her own Yule Love It Lavender Farm in Leonard, Michigan. Learn more about Iris here.

Post New Comment:
Thank you Iris, the miracle of the ordinary,the hope of what is sown.
Posted 06/22/2011 05:56 PM
nadia ibrashi:
I love this poem. It tugs at my heart, yet gives me hope for happier days. Thanks.
Posted 05/02/2011 09:10 PM
Beautiful, moving poem
Posted 04/26/2011 10:03 AM
Lavender is such a great word because it's not only a flower, but a very particular color and a remarkable scent, the kind of thing that can go straight to your heart and heal you.
Posted 04/15/2011 08:28 AM

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