“Flu Season” by Scott Wiggerman

starting with a Dickinson line (#1150)

How many schemes may die in one short afternoon?
I melted into the davenport all afternoon.

My throat rougher than bark, I barely spoke a word.
Immobile as my cat: that sort of afternoon.

I’ve been robbed: both my plans and muscles were stolen.
9-1-1? I’d like to report this afternoon.

Ambitions drifted like dust across the hardwood floors.
He asked, What’s wrong? My sharp retort, afternoon.

Skies stayed cold and gray, no flickering of joy.
No point to windows: no light to court my afternoon.

The mind wants what the body can’t fulfill.
Many times I’ve given up. Abort the afternoon.

The second hand jerks along, click by wretched click.
Cobwebs float from picture frames: le morte d’afternoon.


Scott Wiggerman is the author of three books of poetry, Leaf and Beak: Sonnets, Presence, and Vegetables and Other Relationships; and the editor of several volumes, including Wingbeats: Exercises & Practice in Poetry, Bearing the Mask, and Weaving the Terrain.  Poems have appeared in Softblow, Calamus Journal, The Ghazal PageFrogpondand Chelsea Station, as well as the anthologies This Assignment Is So Gay and Between: New Gay Poetry. He lives in Albuquerque, New Mexico, with his husband.