The Nurse's Dream of Flowershops

by Donal Thompson

On overfilled wards she wards off ills.

pills and painted corridors,

peeling and drab, flatten her hours.

from 4B's windows she sees the shop

selling bunches and bouquets to visitors.

At the sink with vases she'll undress the blooms,

binning the wrapping and return with the lie

‘I'm no good at arranging. I'll leave that to you.'

Family semi-circles will smile gratefully at

the pre-op, post-op, no-stop nurse who has

no time for flowers.

But in some hospitable corner of her rented room

the lazy leaves of a parlour palm finger

lavender in a wine bottle.

Her flowerbedspread steeps her in a

wizardry of floristry where

all she could catch without gloves would be

a finger on a rose thorn.