Thank you for the flowers

Illness hides me from myself.
Someone else is lying on this narrow hospital bed
Alone with unnamed bacteria for company
Hyperactive antibodies and slow-growing hair.

Then a visitor, a face above tumbling flowers,
An unruly froth of garden chaos,
White roses, pink buds, hauling the outside in.
The shock restarts my heart.
Petals scatter scornful on the polished floor.

It’s a moment of identity in a tiny room
Whose borders are stiffly moving nylon curtains.
It is the Union Jack at the South Pole,
The Stars and Stripes at Iwo Jima
Hillary on Everest.

It says, “Here is Janice.”
I accept the challenge.


7 thoughts on “Thank you for the flowers

  1. This is a wonderful poem, Janice. But I am so sorry to hear you’ve been unwell and hope you are already feeling better. So looking forward to catching up with you when we return to NZ in October. Much love, xx, Annie

  2. I have just read this poem which has startled me, because it is about you.  I am sorry you have been ill and hope by writing this wonderful poem, it means that you are feeling stronger. I love every line of the poem, it is fabulous.  It always amazes me what comes out of the unknown which hides inside us and can often only be expressed by creativity.

    I am sending off an assignment or two shortly, but am in ho hurry to get a reply so  please take your time, but I want to thank you for the encouragement you have given me and the understanding you have of my work, and for your very perceptive comments.. I am pleased to be doing the course Thank you again. Ann Purchase..


    1. Hello Ann. I am heartened by your comments. The problem with pain is working out how you can continue to live around it. I find that continueing as normal is the best thing to do. I will post only one more hospital poem because people are becoming upset. After that I will get back to concentrating on the more domestic stuff of life. But as this is a blog about this year I do have to write what is happening.
      I’m home now, but off to the hospital most days. There is a lot of waiting!

  3. Greetings Janice, It seems I’m the last person to discover your unwellness. I’d appreciate a call when you consider the time is right. If I / we / NZIBS can do anything to help, that’s what real friends are for. Brian Morris

  4. If this piece is what hospitals grant, it is stunning; I never realised flowers could pack such an awesome punch.

    Last post from the bacterial realm? No! Please DO post on everything and anything, dear Janice. It is your gift for me to know what’s happening for you. And it’s good for me to feel remiss that I’m not in contact enough to be there for you more often … You said ‘upset’ above – I think ‘loving concern’ is more accurate. It is only natural. And it affords us a chance to respond by way of sending many loving wishes to you. Radha – & love from Charles

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