Ashes silently sway like snowflakes
all the long, hard winter
through dark, bitter nights.

I sit and burn
alone. Smoke and stars mingle
overhead. A lone coyote cries.

He creeps through broken
brush and limbs, hoping for fate
to fill his emptiness.

Spring will come.
Not soon enough.

Mary felt this way,
too, her rotting brother
wasting away for four days’ worth
of eternity.

She waited and wept

and lost



This Easter, tightly wrapped
tips of irises planted
decades ago in my flower bed,

Purple tips like paintbrushes
dipped in royal blood


Ready to color the whole world,

To unfurl themselves,
to live again.

–Bethany Wallace


5 thoughts on “Irises

  1. Planting Potatoes says:

    great visual for hope! I guess there is a hint of pressure when you write…after all, you are an english teacher right? 🙂


    1. bethany says:

      YES :), and only pressure I put on myself, I suppose. Poetry’s just more compact, so it has to be better. Even after posting this, I revised it in my head for two days. But I think good writers keep revising their own writing. It’s good to throw it out there, but it’s also good to keep working on it.


      1. Planting Potatoes says:

        yes…it’s the same with artists….they will take a year longer to finish a painting….just because they feel like adding a few things…..


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