An Ode to a Midwinter Cold



Is that a death rattle I hear, trembling the dark wood around me?


‘Tis the phlegm from thy chest cold shaking the bed frame as I hack up another loogie.

A midwinter cold has claimed yet another Kleenex which shroud thy bedclothes like moguls on ski slopes in thy feverish dreams.

Okay, so I don’t have a fever, but as I gaze out the window, red nose pressed against the glass, the lengthening daylight draws me outdoors, like a siren, or Beckham, or some other hot guy. Thy waning energy, thy only defense against overdoing it on yonder slackline. (A gift from Santa.)


Each day, upon wakening, hope soars that its hold has loosened. Alas all that has loosened are the reeds in thy larynx as I croak in a strong baritone, “Coffee, I need coffee.” Perhaps I should audition for a boy band.

And so linger do I like fingerprints upon thy neti pot. Only a shadow of thyself, stretching out with the day, on the couch, zapper clutched tight in one pale hand while guzzling mugs of green tea like shots of tequila with the other.

The next few days would certainly ring brighter. But, alas, I awake slack-jawed with energy zapped. Now rapid-fire sneezing and nasal congestion appear. I try to sleep it off.

Then darkness swallows all hope as a shiver slices thy core. I tunnel deep within the tangled sheets, tossing then turning to Web MD – How to sleep with a fever. Reduced to a mouth-breather, I check off thy list until the corners’ of thy cracked lips curl in a smile.

Nasal strips. Duh!

I dash to the bathroom to see if drawers contain the desired breathing implement. Aha! I apply it to nose’s bridge and can instantly breathe. Oh, the relief and sanguine bliss and scent of flowers and sunshine and… then I notice thy reflection which resembles a prizefighter after losing the prize. What if my nose sticks like that?

I quiet down for a long midwinter’s nap, snoozing for two hours at a time. By morning, the fever has fizzled. Yes! My expectations fly away with my imagination. I would rest, then go running tomorrow and then write, then replenish thy refrigerator, and then… I dragged through another day.

I curse thy pharmacist. How dare she send me away since thy flu shot was almost in hand (or arm) and with such a lame excuse. Something about anti-cancer drugs suppressing thy immune system and not giving anyone a shot who had double boobectomies. Never before have I beset such an outrage. Instead of smiling and leaving, I should have explained, “I only had one bad boob!” Shoulda, woulda, coulda.

And here am I, a mere shell of thyself, crawling with legs splayed sideways, skittering from bed to couch to chair, always hiding, the light too bright still.

Oh, when, doth midwinter’s cold end? Hack, cough, spit.

It better be soon, dammit. Snow’s in the forecast and there are wild rides to be had.

Did you get your flu shot? It’s not too late. When I’m well, I’m demanding one.

I drew Midwinter’s Cold as I imagined it when I wrote this poem. Yes, thy mind is a very scary place.

65 thoughts on “An Ode to a Midwinter Cold

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  1. Well done! You have nailed the angsty feeling of defeat that a midwinter cold brings with it. At least your powers of description aren’t all clogged up. Poor kid, hope you feel better soon.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks so much, Ally. 🙂 I really appreciate you reading it!
      It’s pretty strange how ideas come to me. I was using my neti pot and the first two lines popped into my head and cracked me up. Not so good when saline is flowing through my nasal passages. Ha!
      I’m on the mend. By tomorrow, I should be back to normal, I hope.

      Liked by 2 people

  2. Forsooth, methinks thy dost but float upon a wispy dream. Awake thee now, refreshed and hearken to the sounds of slussing skis replete with joyous laughter amid thy adoring crowd.

    (Never hurts to think positive, right?)


    1. Hahaha! I’m laughing and my sinus passages don’t feel like they’ll explode. Yes, I’m all about the positive, Al. I’m on the upswing, for sure. Thanks for reading!


    1. Thanks Liz! I’m so sorry to hear that. Use the nasal strips, STAT! It is a monster of a cold. With all the rest I had, I have to believe it was the bonafide flu. Danny got a shot, was totally exposed, and never got it! Did you get your flu shot?


  3. Fantastic drawing. Flu found my husband last week. And he brought it home to me. Congestion, coughing, sneezing and body aches galore. Fever, fever, and more fever. Hoping the fever and aches pass soon. Glad you’re on the mend, and will be running and riding wildly.


    1. Thanks so much. Ha! I sat down last night and drew what had been in my head for a few days. Now if I could get it out of my head for good! (The cold, that is…)
      How are you doing? The fever is the worst! “They” tell you not to take anything since it prolongs the crud, unless it goes over 102. Mine was around 101. Sending you lots of healing wishes!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Thanks. I don’t know how accurate my ear thermometer is, but it was up around 104 the other day. I think it was more in the mid 103’s. Yesterday it was in the 102’s and this morning was down to just under 101. I gave in and took some ibuprofen to kick the body aches the other day. What always amazes me, is that as sick as I can get, my body kicks into gear and does whatever it needs to do to rise up and defend against foreign invaders. And then it gets better.


    1. I wondered what happened to Zoomers. Such a shame after Opensalon. Are most on WordPress now?
      The cold is working its way out. I could sit and type two days ago! Thanks Linda! (((hug)))


  4. I get my flu shot the first Tuesday of September. (Or Wednesday this past year, since Tuesday was occupied by my disability appeal hearing.) I don’t usually get a cold after that–last year was my first time in several years. And then my body decided to do it up right and give me laryngitis to start it off–YOW! You can believe I hurried to McDonald’s for a lovely, icy caramel frappe after going to urgent care…the perfect thing for a sore throat!

    I don’t miss my “band cold”, though. I managed to get one every year in high school within a month or so of marching season–hence the term!


      1. I have no idea how that got started…I guess I just did it the same time one or two years running and now it’s a thing!

        Mark your calendar for September 5! 😀


  5. Flu and colds in winter: I know what you mean. My worst times where when I was a student… Trains, busses: no good allies. I often got sick, and bad to deal with a quite tight routine. Vaccine agaisnt flu is a great discovery: I´d say go for it… (Note that you need to be fully recovered of previous flu though!).
    A well reading. Love the ironic twists. Humour might help. It most times does!. Get well soon!. Love. 😉


    1. Thanks so much for stopping by, Aquileana! It’s always a pleasure to see your avatar on my blog.
      I remember those miserable days of slogging through a long day at school with a cold. One time, I didn’t want to miss a game of broom ball (played like hockey on ice) and went with a fever! Ha! I had a lot more energy back in college. I am so lucky to have been able to shut down and heal this last week. I’m sure it shortened the flu’s longevity. Good point about the vaccination. I’ll make sure it’s out of my system before getting a shot.

      Thanks so much for your kind words! I crack myself up at the worst of times. It always gets me through. Ha!

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Oh, noooooo….. I didn’t know you could spread that one, from mice and rats. Do you mean the Norovirus? (stomach virus) I’m getting there and am thankful for the incremental steps to getting back to normal. It takes time to heal!


      1. OK. I may have over stated the Disease’s name. It felt like what I imagine the Hanta Virus would feel like. Not Ebola. I had that last year. I think Junior was the carrier of that one too! I may have to re-think who to invite to family get-togethers. I hate being sick.


    1. Thanks, Hook! I do have a vivid imagination where monsters can roam free as you can see. Ha!
      Yep, I’m slowly on the mend. Tomorrow’s the day. I can just feel it. *fingers crossed*


  6. NeilMed Sinus Rinse! Helps prevent colds, and even if you already have one, it helps make it go away faster and helps you breathe better. I SWEAR by it! Costco or any pharmacy, over the counter. GET SOME! You’ll thank me. (I should get a commission from their company!) Love that drawing!


    1. That’s what I’m using in my neti pot! Unfortunately, this bug is a stinker.
      Thanks so much! It was fun to pull out the colored pencils and dink around for a while last night. 🙂


  7. Since I have been on immune suppressant infusions I avoid public places like the plague. When I go into the drug store I have my personal bottle of hand sanitizer in pocket for application as soon as I go out the door. When I go outside of the house I remember not to touch my face and wash hands immediately upon entering. I know it sounds wacky but I haven’t had a cold or flu for five years. Also at the sign of a sniffle, I take two aspirin. (Shown to kill the rhinovirus). I also use saline spray when the humidity gets low. (keeps nose doing its filter job) Hope you feel better.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. That is so good to know about aspirin! I’ll try that next time. I’m so glad you’re well and surviving the winter cold-free!
      I just read a few studies (in my downtime over the last week in bed) that said hand sanitizers don’t work. I use them too and now I will take the extra precaution and will wash my hands instead when I’m out. I think the other culprit, (there are only thousands out there) could have been my dirty cell phone. I used to wipe it down with alcohol or bleach, but I’d gotten out of the habit.
      Thanks, John!

      Liked by 1 person

  8. Flu shots are a MUST!

    I rarely get a full blown cold. Everything else? Sure, why not. But the common cold ain’t so common to yours truly. Which is a good thing since I hit the ground running in the morning and I hate all the weapons of war that come with fighting a cold. Ugh!

    Feel better. Soon!


    1. That’s good to hear, Cayman.
      I don’t get sick often, but this one started off as a cough. I think it was of the flu variety. Luckily, I was able to sleep!
      Keep washing your hands and cell phone and get your flu shot!
      Thanks for reading. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  9. Well, you wanted to be a writer and someone heard you….Well known that writers have to suffer to produce
    (Word production is flowing well …but hoping the nose dripping has slowed)
    Hope there’s a spot of sun you can bundle up and sit in. Grandmother and Maria Montessori always said that was best HAHA!
    (yeah, you can’t have flu shots any more – but hey a bunch of times they’re for the wrong strain anyway. We just avoid large gatherings indoors. Puts a damper on attending events, but we find we get outdoors more now and get more exercise. Eat those fruits and veggies!)
    Hang in there Susie


    1. Thanks, Phil!
      Breast cancer survivors are supposed to get their flu shots this year, so I’m heading to another pharmacy when I’m well. This year, the worst killer strain is in the shot. There are lots of bugs out there. Yikes!
      My head is almost out of the bucket. I set up a winter office in a sunny room so I’ll enjoy a patch of sunshine today!

      Liked by 1 person

  10. Tis snot a bad post, snot a bad post at all! And I doth love-eth yon graphic’s nasal imageryeth! Intentional, doth I dare sayeth?

    Just…just clean up after yourself (and yon besoiled window), Susie. I myself feel uncleaneth after just reading-eth this (heading to the shower)…. :-]


    1. It is taking me FOREVER to get over it! I had a fever a week ago last Sunday. I didn’t ski last weekend and stayed indoors, but finally took a walk yesterday and was exhausted today! Take it easy. If you don’t have to go in, I would stay home another day and rest. Do I sound like a mom? Ha!

      Liked by 1 person

  11. I reminded everyone to get their flu shots ! Ya rolled the dice and didn’t get one, didn’t ya ? Don’t feel too bad. Wife got hers…, and is still in bed with the flu. Fever for 5 days and a bark of a cough that would shame the largest dog ! Get well soon ! 🙂


    1. That nasty cold finally left my system a week ago last Saturday. I hope your wife is feeling better, Paul! The flu shot doesn’t cover all of them. I did get the shot last week. Then Danny came home with a garden variety cold after a ski trip. So far I haven’t gotten that one. Yay!
      Thanks so much! Stay healthy, my friend!


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