Years later, the day’s definitively spent
in illness, in cradling a vaguely odd grudge
quite certain this isn’t how it is meant
to be - festive boiling down to the sludge
of sickrooms and maladies and medicine.
Temples where love’s expressed now quiet, passive;
a travesty of differently fevered skin,
grubbier shades of meaning to live festive,
the usual flowers forgotten, left to droop;
the petals of the hours shredding, wasting.
There are offerings of silence and soup,
unremarked and consumed without tasting,
till a brief, lucid break when the fever lifts -what if this version is also a gift?