My father, who was a radiation therapist, had always told me about the cancer patients he worked with in the hospital. For some, they had no one: no friends, no family, relying only on strangers to get to the hospital for treatment. For others, who were less unfortunate, neither their loved ones nor acquaintances would leave them alone, and even if they did, phone calls would bombard the front desk, asking how the patient was doing and if the nurses were doing their jobs.
One day, my father received a gift from a patient. He was one of the forgotten ones, the one who no one ever cared to visit. My father had taken it upon himself to take care of the man, from giving him money, to advice, to even joking around with him every now and then. The patient was incredibly grateful, and so, when his treatment was done, he decided to give my father a tiny amaryllis bulb, one that hadn’t sprouted yet. My father took it, and ever since then, it has been growing out in his front lawn, gracing the neighborhood with its innocent beauty.
the amaryllis sighs.
Within tainted light,
within tainted lies,
it whispers softly in place,
as withered petals await their fate.
its leaves fall shamefully.
In stories far away,
in dreams where decadence lay,
a fractured eternity
was wrapped in thorns of agony.
its pristine sadness cries,
behind closed eyes,
behind narrow minds,
though it still smiles endlessly
while repeating empathy’s symphony.
By Robin Goodfellow