The Flu (a blessing)


May a kind soul give you warm soup, the kind you like.

May another bring you elderberry syrup, the dark elixir,

which may or may not help.

When your body shivers and quakes from the cold earth shaking within,

May the bathtub fill quickly.

May the hot water never run out.

If you have children, may they rediscover the joy of reading.

May you have a bed and soft pillows

to absorb the aches

from this unseeable burden.

And when you lie down to sleep, may you sleep.


You’ve been bested.

Forgive the one you think gave you this misery.

Accept that you will feel this way for the rest of your life.


Until you don’t.


Your mind will be sharper than it has been in weeks.

The unbendable wooden chair that was your body will be supple and free.

The world will look different

as if you’d drunk from the fountain of wonder.

This, may you carry with you into the new year.

May it be your beacon

through the snow, the heavy rain,

And recaptured with the first flower unfurling.


3 thoughts on “The Flu (a blessing)

  1. Just about finished my two week bout – know how you feel about the misery part – laughed when I read the part about the kids rekindled reading interests – unfortunately, no matter how hard I try, don’t think I’ll ever rediscover the “fountain of youth” feeling in my bones.

  2. What a description of being consumed with and trapped in pain, Shannon. The last flu I had I even remembered labour pains and thought “this too shall pass this too shall pass”

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