Living where we work, our exposure and resistance to ever-evolving, human contagions is limited. And though our immune systems may be naïve, we’re seldom sick. But since a busy Christmas here with family, kids and grandkids, Robbin and I remained sequestered at home to ring in the New Year by counting our blessings after each barrage of consecutive sneezes.




Self-medicating between bouts
of consecutive sneezes
and my repeated gesundheits,

your eyes raised to invisible lines
of poetry you’ve been writing
in the kitchen that you squint

to read, and then erase,
edit with a fingertip:
family gifts at Christmas

multiplied as germs exchanged
from big box malls to stockings full
all-across America—and more

you couldn’t decipher
or I can’t remember, trying
anything to get better.


13 responses to “Gesundheit!!

  1. I find a light dusting of bear spray strengthens the immune system.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Lenore Brashear

    HAPPY 2017!!!!!
    Hope the sneezes are few and far between, the rain comes when it should, the grass greens, the cattle fatten and multiply, and the family returns frequently minus germs. All good things in their time!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. “I love you so much grandpa and robin! Hope you feel better!” – cutler and elsie

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Happy New Year, in your drive up to Elko stop by at Deep Springs – it’s a short cut on 168 to get over to 6 through Dyer, NV. I’d like to show you the ranch and we have a guest room if you can stay. Ben


  5. and therein lies a tale…


  6. I don’t see the most important item on the table…Chicken Soup!
    Country folk need country cures.
    Hoping you both get healthier soon. Happy New Year!


  7. I think half the people in our church have flu or something else. We are both blessedly healthy so far. I hope you’re better soon and that 2017 finds you happy, healthy, and blessed.



  8. Feel your pain, John, and for the very same reasons!


  9. Peter Notehelfer

    Happens to me every time I get around cattle! Ha! May yours be the best new year ever . . . Blessings!


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