We had a row of bearded iris behind the vegetable garden.
They hadn’t bloomed in years.
They were crowded and full of weeds.
Nobody had time to tend them.
My sister and I were teenagers finding ourselves.
My mama was teaching junior high. Bless her.
My daddy was keeping the power on at work.
The iris never made it on the list of things to do.
Then Great Grandma Ida May came for a visit.
She disappeared from the house.
We looked out the back windows.
There she was, bent over those iris in her little cotton dress.
Her locket was swinging from her neck as she stooped and straightened up.
She spent hours weeding and cleaning around those iris.
Giving them room to grow.
It puzzled my adolescent self why this old woman felt the need to stand out there in the hot sun bent over those iris.
The next spring they bloomed like never before.
They bloomed again the next year, and the next.
Now I have iris in my own garden.
I guess when I’m old, my grandchildren will see me bent over them,
helping them to grow and bloom.
The iris I mean.