Iridacea by Sarah E. Page

Iridacea Sarah Page

How ugly you all are,
An all-over ugly!

Iris bulbs unearthed and scythed
Of top leaves,
I lay your twisted, tuberous
Bodies across a gutted paper sack
And take a moment to grimace
At your grotesquery.

Dirt clings to your stringy reaching roots.
Not even warm water and bleach
Can pretty the rough hide of your skin.
Poor horrid hags!

But wait—don’t droop,
Shrivel dry in shame.

For I know your secret.

You keep it like a locket,
Or maybe a pearl,
Deep in the water of your flesh—
A tiara of petals, jewels of silk,
A blush pressed within paper wings.
Each spring, you rise
Slim-necked as swans and slender-leaved
To curve rainbows into blossoms.

Yes, majesty resides in these lumps,
These commoner dumplings—
Children of the coronet.

Who would guess such a spectacle
But those who’ve already seen
The princess curled within the peasant—
The goddess in the hag flower.

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Sarah E. Page graduated Cum Laude from Brigham Young University with a B.A. in English in 2007 and is pursuing her Master of Science and certification in Secondary English at Southern Connecticut State University. Her poetry has been published in Noctua Review, Mormon Artist, Inscape: A Journal of Literature and Art, and included in the anthology Fire in the Pasture: Twenty-First Century Mormon Poets. When not scribbling novels or taking pictures of the ragged aster and other weeds running rampant in her garden, she enjoys getting lost on long walks in the Naugatuck State Forest.

2 thoughts on “Iridacea by Sarah E. Page”

  1. “commoner dumplings”: fun. Rough and ready, a poem committed to its own voice. Only the sixth verse paragraph is pleasant to read, regardless of its content and thus accentuating it. The rest rides the conceit with full on conviction, and it works well.

  2. I enjoy the thought of how our own ideas are impressed upon nature–a certain shape or color is “ugliness.” It’s like those fairytales where someone makes the mistake of treating an ugly old woman unfairly, and gets cursed when she changes into her beautiful, true self. Etc.

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