Blue Iris

by Mary Oliver

Now that I'm free to be myself, who am I?

Can't fly, can't run, and see how slowly I walk. 

Well, I think, I can read books. 

"What's that you're doing?"

the green-headed fly shouts as it buzzes past. 

I close the book. 

Well, I can write down words, like these, softly.

"What's that you're doing?" whispers wind, pausing

in a heap just outside the window. 

Give me a little time, I say back to its staring, silver face. 

It doesn't happen all of a sudden, you know. 

"Doesn't it?" says the wind, and breaks open, releasing

distillation of blue iris. 

And my heart panics not to be, as I long to be, 

the empty, waiting, pure, speechless receptacle.