Sick Room

It is the season of drifting
scents, honeysuckle morphine
in the dark and the ether
of phlox and stocks.
Outside, the first summer
roses fade. He wants to take
secateurs, deadhead delicate
corpses, but cannot bear
to touch petals the colour
of bruised skin or inhale
the cloying breath of flowers
like the ones in her sick room.

Kim M. Russell, 19th June 2018

Related image
Bowl with Peonies and Roses, Vincent van Gogh


My response to dVerse Poets Pub Poetics: Medicine, also linked to Imaginary Garden with Real Toads Tuesday Platform

Paul the Scribbler is looking after the bar today; he tells us that he recently completed training in Music Medicine, which is based on a medicine wheel, and asks us to bring him some poetic medicine. 


43 thoughts on “Sick Room

  1. This is STUNNING. I am smitten with the phrase “honeysuckle morphine.”

    This makes me think of a son not wanting/willing to be near his elderly/dying mother.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. My goodness I literally held my breath through “but cannot bear to touch petals the colour of bruised skin”… so unbelievably powerful, Kim!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Packed with poetic truth, brevity and sentiment; really enjoyed it. I have haunted too many sick rooms and hospitals over the years. You become smitten with your own mortality, and renegade germs.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. I know this…
    Every innocent word action colour or scent takes on a new meaning. cuts to the core…
    Vivid apt and strangely beautiful Kim.
    Anna :o]

    Liked by 1 person

  5. All in flowering terms, it reads so fragrantly. I had to pause and later for a think session about “honeysuckle morphine.” I’m thinking pain killers, could they somehow be flavored with honeysuckle scent by the sorrowful husband? We don’t deadhead our roses either, for different reasons, there are way too many blooms for that. For the man’s sake I hope the lady has a ‘speedy recovery. ”

    Liked by 1 person

  6. So rich in sound. I love “phlox and stocks” and “deadhead delicate corpses”. This is a treat read aloud and I like the reveal of the man’s true feelings in this poem.
    I am on the same page regarding cut flowers. Rather see them in an open field. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Very evocative…not tweeted because it seems likely to be too close to home for too many of my Tweeps. One’s mother is dying, another’s partner is dying, another has Stage 4 cancer herself…

    I need some younger, healthier e-friends.

    But this is a good free verse poem.

    Liked by 1 person

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