The Cold Catching Competition
I did not catch this cold.
You didn’t hurl it towards me like a rugby ball,
Arms reflexive as it thundered closer.
We lay in bed two nights ago, you fell asleep
First. I heard the soft pop of your mouth
Like beer opening.
Your breathing quietly roared for hours.
It saw me. Spirited its way over -
Wraith-like. Caressed my ears, nose and
Throat. When the morning came
We shared the burden -
Flaming heads, dithering feet.
Sometimes I try to recreate feelings -
Play director to myself.
I lay down as straight as I can on the bed and pretend
I can’t move my legs.
From the waste down there’s nothing
Just two dead trunks in front of me
Like painted white pipes.
I remember two women came in and gave me
What I can only describe as a bed bath.
They hoisted me upwards, lifted one leg
At a time, one arm at a time.
Wiped the sweat from my face,
The blood from my body.
I, a life sized doll.
Someone came in with toast -
Slices as thick as bricks,
With butter that dripped on my dirty nightdress.
And now as I am recalling all this
I have given myself a cramp. And nobody
Will rub it better because it was too long ago
When it was my time.
Charlotte Cosgrove is a poet and teacher from Liverpool, England. She is published in Trouvaille Review, Dreich, The Literary Yard and a Wingless Dreamer anthology. She has work forthcoming in Confingo, Beyond Words, The Broadkill Review, Words and Whispers and New Contexts 2: an anthology. Charlotte was recently shortlisted for the Julian Lennon poetry prize. She is Editor of Rough Diamond Poetry Journal