I hate being sick… Which is probably true of most people, except perhaps anyone who’s waited on, with trays of food and a vase of fresh flowers. And children who can get out of school.
Generally, I huddle under some blankets when I’m ill, and wait for the storm to pass. I don’t use the blanket pictured (at a really odd angle, for some reason) because it was bought for me when I was young. Not a baby blanket, really, but the one you drag around with you when you’re a young child.
These kinds of things (stuffed animals, toys, blankets) are so entangled in your memories, they become symbols, often of contradictory things. My blanket: Sleep. Comfort. Family. Warmth. Monsters under the bed. Cold toes. Fever dreams. Nightmares.
What are the symbols of your childhood?
* * * *
Sickness brings out
my inner child
trailing a blanket of orange and white horses
like chess knights
and crumpled tissue hoof prints
Fever horses graze on body heat
evoke shivers as if fly-bothered
hooves stomp on aching bones
Nothing to do
and pray the herd tramples
someone else’s sweat-dewed pastures