Plastic Daffodils

How do you prepare yourself
for life as a little girl lost

How do you prepare yourself
for a sharp February morning
when the chill bites your nose
and the reaper nips at bare heels

Stark lighting and communal spaces
plastic daffodils stand proud in ceramic
but this is no place like home

How do you prepare yourself
when home isn’t there anymore
but lies like a spec of lint
somewhere at the back of the closet
idling away alongside September
and memories of spun sugar

How do you prepare yourself
for the view at death’s door
dignity ebbing away with the flow
as you watch the ravage unfold
and the rush of wild horses
thundering through the corridor
rumbles under your feet

How do you prepare yourself
when there’s no control
scooped up, delivered bedside
to look upon the pallid face
of the woman who loved you
unconditionally until her end

How do you prepare yourself
for the synthetic sympathetic
the auxiliary with a nondescript face
trepidatious as she speaks
“Whenever you are ready
take as long as you need.”

Ready? How can you be ready?
How can you prepare yourself for this?

 

Written especially for the Poetics prompt over at dVerse Poets where tonight we are being asked to write about ‘preparation’… Join us if you can.

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33 responses to “Plastic Daffodils

  1. dang…you got me…in light of the death of my students here recently my heart was trembling after teh first couple lines….then you took me to my MIL bedside as well…one of the hardest days in my life….oy…you spanked my emotions today…

  2. Wow, some things you really cannot prepare yourself well for. Your title “Plastic Daffodils” is a very apt title for this strong poem!

  3. This is a brilliant write……you hit us right where we live – remembering the bedsides of those lost loved ones….the rush of wild horses……the rumbling under our feet – and the view ahead when we are the ones inside the bed. Fantastic poem!!!!

  4. Pingback: Plastic Daffodils | Pure Poetry | Scoop.it·

  5. wonderful Vanessa…every sense engaged, every emotion surfaced, and every chamber of my heart affected..what more could a reader want…and it’s awesome to read you! Hope all is well…I happen to need a tissue right now!

  6. you can’t…. i think even if death comes not surprisingly, we’re never prepared..and the pain hits us with full might…a very moving and personal write vanessa… brought tears to my eyes..

  7. My instinct was to answer that you can’t, and ultimately I think that maybe true. Perhaps the most you can do is clear the decks and wait to see what comes – which your questions could be instrumental in achieving. Lovely write.

  8. Astoundingly good poetry, Vanessa. With a good measure of soul searing empathy, it has forced me to read it several times.

    “Ready? How can you be ready?
    How can you prepare yourself for this?”

    Great close.

    Happen to be listening to Gorecki’s Symphony No.3, 2nd movement, with the beautiful voice of Dawn Upshaw… it somehow fits the mood of this poem. Try it and see if you agree.

  9. love this reflective, introspectively analytic piece. The way you presented all the question here is so fluid, it’s like the questions are but lines, thoughts and reflections, yet they are questions, which make it all the more remarkable. Very nicely done. Thanks

  10. A quite level of desperation occurs via the repeat which really works well (imho) some superb lyrics combine with what lies at the heart and all add up to a V tight poem that sticks to me (which i like :) Poetry as preperation? :)

  11. “as you watch the ravage unfold
    and the rush of wild horses
    thundering through the corridor
    rumbles under your feet”
    That is how it is and no anticipation can assist, though I think reading this poem might be a tiny “heads up” on moments that only sharing the life of the loved one can ever balance out. Thank you for writing this. It is no plastic daffodil, it is the life of a real flower.

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