On tulips

In which I discover that tulips aren’t the only flowers

Tulips seem to have gone out of fashion, which is a pity because they’re my favourites. I buy a bunch of flowers every Friday with my market shopping. It’s my last stop on the way, and this final thing, a bunch of flowers pushed jauntily into my basket carries me through the week. Except less so because they’re no longer tulips.

When my dad was sick, flowers were my treat to myself. They were an anchor to the living. Which I guess is weird given that they had been cut off from life and now were dying. But I brought the deep orange tulips home and watched them open, their stems growing longer so that the tulips looked like spiders spreading out of the vase.

These days when I do find a bunch of tulips they sit in the vase, limp and pale, many of them never opening.

I keep buying the flowers, but each week now, it’s as if another part of my father has died. The world moves on.

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