Where are the irises gone? An Easter poem with greetings from Sr. Rose

Where are the irises gone? An Easter poem with greetings from Sr. Rose March 30, 2013
By Vincent Van Gogh


Are the irises dead

Have they lost their bloom?

Are they shrunken and shriveled

Are they gone so soon?


Is their deep purple less

And their curl no more?

Have the irises drooped

Taking color from my world?


Or do they live

In rich purple blues?

Do they sand alert

Catching spring’s early dew?


First the bold crocus breaks

Hard winter’s dirt

Then the scented hyacinth

With springtime flirts


And my irises stand

At attention so brief

Beside the lingering tomb

Of my holy week


Easter! It bursts

Through a vigil dark

The new fire sparks!

Ancient faith is rebirthed.


Alleluia! Trumpet the lilies

So white like snow

Christ is risen! Christ IS risen!

We proclaim, we KNOW!


And the lovely velvet irises

Silently bow and fold

To return another springtime

When my earth is cold.


– Sister Rose Pacatte, 1997


I wrote this poem on Good Friday that year, while recovering from major surgery and after learning that morning that I had MS. 

What did it mean? What does it mean? All I know is that I am still here and once again, Easter comes when we cry out, “He is risen! He is risen as he said!”

The message this Easter: “Remember the poor.” What does this mean?

Easter blessings to one and all and joy that we are all here, together, in the Risen Lord, and grace abounds.



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