17 January – Hyacinth hope

Every year when Christmas is all packed away,
I like to buy a hyacinth to put in its place.
It’s always been brought on to bloom before the season,
a premonition of what’s to come, an early Spring beacon.
I choose one boldly bursting from its purple onion ball
with a thick succulent stem already growing tall.
I watch in delight as the first trumpet is woken,
then drink in the scent as more and more open.
A blaze of bright blue fills the newly bared room,
prefiguring the colouring that paints empty ground anew.
It’s just enough flowering to hold on to in the bleak,
a promise March will be here in a few short weeks.

17 January - Hyacinth hope