Pressed in the soil’s black web, nursed by the rough
offhand embrace of frost, the hyacinths
turn in their sleep. Such blunt stabbings
against the paperiness of ancient skin,
such cell-memory, igniting a slow fuse laid in the ground.
Pressed in the soil’s black web, rocked back to sleep
by the storm that tugs at the holly tree’s roots
the hyacinths know they are listening
to the west wind that kills them,
but they are safe, having given themselves to darkness.
All they desire is not to flower.
Hyacinths, when I see you forced from the soil
glossy and demonstrative
with your loud scent and demand for attention
I will put you back to sleep, forking
the long-fibred darkness over you.