The Wild Iris At the end of my suffering there was a door. Hear me out: that which you call death I remember. Overhead, noises, branches of the pine shifting. Then nothing. The weak sun flickered over the dry surface. It is terrible to survive as consciousness buried in the dark earth. Then it was over: that which you fear, being a soul and unable to speak, ending abruptly, the stiff earth bending a little. And what I took to be birds darting in low shrubs. You who do not remember passage from the other world I tell you I could speak again: whatever returns from oblivion returns to find a voice: from the center of my life came a great fountain, deep blue shadows on azure seawater. (Continues...) Excerpted from Wild Iris by Louise Gluck Copyright © 2003 by Louise Gluck Excerpted by permission. All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.