I sneeze
Then sneeze again

No one on this train
Is fooled
Looking side-eye

Tiny invaders
Swarming through
This closed-in space
So many

I sneeze again
Into my elbow
Like a good citizen
No one’s fooled

Holding back
A scratchy cough
I long for

honey, whiskey
And bed

for the dverse prompt of 11/26/19 on Plath, Hughes, and invasive things. Written in November 2019, but seemed to fit the set.

20 thoughts on “Contagious

      • That is a reasonable scenario, but often on the train I’ve been seated opposite people who sneeze constantly and make no effort to even look for a handkerchief. It’s as though spreading cold germs is regarded as a civic duty.

  1. This is so close to home for me, Xan, as I am currently laid up with a chest infection and vomiting virus after travelling by train to my daughter’s house and back. That’s the thing about germs – we can’t see them.

    • Probably lol. I started writing in tercets, but it wanted some of them to be four. (Sometimes you tell the poem what to do. Sometimes it tells you). But I didn’t want to give up on a restricted form, which seemed more in keeping with the prompt. So I came up with this (and it also seemed to fit the topic!) I’m so glad someone noticed!

  2. What is free verse if we can’t vary our stanza lengths? I think it makes it more interesting. I really like how you repeated’ No one’s fooled’ later in the poem and in a different position in the stanza. The whole poem is rather sneeze-like!

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