The hyacinths are over-optimistic - we are in the dead of winter.
Outside everything is white, still, frost-bound.
I am chilled to the bone, huddled here beneath my duvet,
while the cold morning light streaks the walls with pale blue.
I am diminished, have lost connection to the outside world.
My vitality languishes with my clothes in the wardrobe
and clear reasoning is lost to confusion.
My head is burning and throbbing on the pillow
like some grotesquely distorted Christmas light: flashing, flashing, feverish red.
Ridiculous brain, why do you insist on trying to function?
People keep bringing me water to drink.
They are out of focus, blurred and featureless,
constantly plumping my pillow and mumbling gibberish.
Oh I wish they would go away and leave me alone!
I am as an infant to them. They attend to my physical needs
like new mothers: fussing and constantly checking
that I am still alive. It is driving me crazy.
I just want to sleep and escape this pain and discomfort
that invading microbes have mercilessly inflicted.
Inside me a battle rages, mirroring the state of my outer life.
All the discord and disarray is finally taking it's toll.
I am a sail-less yacht adrift upon an uncharted ocean,
stubbornly clinging to a name and address back on land.
Being so infectious has robbed me of lover and friend.
Afraid and alone in a suddenly unrecognised room,
I desperately seek something familiar for reassurance.
But there is nothing, just bare walls and bland furnishings.
I have become a non-entity: a stranger's absurd dream.
But now I have these flowers. I never believed
I could be anything but emotionally barren.
Yet how euphoric I feel. You cannot imagine -
the empathy is so overwhelming it stuns you.
And they ask nothing in return, except a little earth and water.
I imagine this must be what it's like to die:
a joyous flowing back into pure Universal Love.
The hyacinths are so pink and full of life, it hurts.
Even through the gift wrap I could hear them breathing
gently, as I still can now they are fully exposed
and at the mercy of all. They have become my lost babies.
Their pinkness calls to my heart in a language
not quite understood. It responds fluently:
I would willingly die to protect such heart-rending fragility.
I was merely tolerated before. Now I am truly cared for.
The hyacinths lean towards me, and the window beyond
where each day the light floods in then fades back to darkness.
And I am a lifeless thing, caught between
the brilliance of the sun and the perfection of the hyacinths:
such an ugly thing that I want to efface myself.
Both sun and hyacinths are so beautiful in comparison.
Before they came I was coping with the influenza,
slipping in and out of consciousness without much fuss.
Then the hyacinths filled the room with their intoxicating scent.
Now the air and I are drawn to them like moths to a flame:
the air and I bewitched and enthralled.
They have captivated my attention, that before was content
to simply drift between trivia, reverie and oblivion.
Even the walls seem to be warming to pink.
The hyacinths should be reclassified as Spiritual Gurus.
They are opening up, transforming into passageways to paradise
and I am aware of being inexorably pulled in,
while sheer healing energy flows through and around my ravaged body.
The water the humans feed me once flowed through those sacred stems,
and I already feel my fever lifting...