Yellow Flag

pond

Yellow Flag

In the shallow waters
of the pond
on Wimbledon Common
yellow irises thrive
in May and June

Here where water fowl
come to breed
they rise up
with their long
sword-shaped leaves
standing almost a metre tall

As yellow flag or sword-grass
they have entered
the popular imagination
and were once believed
to keep the powers of evil at bay

When herons spot them
from the air they know
that they are close
to a place they can call home

John Lyons

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