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?

I guess they’re seahorses. Strange, two-headed chimera seahorses. But they remind me of chess pieces.

*    *    *     *

Restless Knights

Sickness brings out

my inner child

sleepy

red-faced

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

but wait

and pray the herd tramples

someone else’s sweat-dewed pastures

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About Caitlin Stern

I have a MA in English, and have so many fantasy/urban fantasy WIPs it's not even funny. I'm an avid reader of science fiction, fantasy, mystery, romance, biography, fiction, and anything else that catches my interest. I collect books, and bookmarks I find that are visually appealing and useful.

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