A Kindness

There’s a woman outside the hospital carrying tulips.
I do not ask her why she’s here, or if she’s okay –
only where she got the flowers.
When she turns towards me,
her eyes are tinged pink with exhaustion;
lids heavy like the petals wrapped in plastic
– the colour calling back to softer years
before she knew anything of Sickness.
I know the answer before she says it:
The Gift Shop.
The place you go when there is nothing left to do;
when you have stared at the same tiled floor for too long;
when you cannot stomach one more bad cup of coffee.
I tell her that they’re nice, but she only shrugs –
probably bought them in a haze
with no debate over orchids or daisies.
I know the feeling of wanting something to hold onto
just so your hands won’t feel so pointless.
I wonder who she’s waiting for.
I do not ask, only stand beside her,
breathing in the cool night air
that smells slightly of disinfectant and tender hope.
For a moment we both pretend that the tulips are not
her prayers made whole –
for a moment we both pretend that they are only flowers.

  1. thefeatheredsleep said:

    So beautiful

      • thefeatheredsleep said:


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