The virus screwed itself into my cells,
twisting communication lines, breaking
code, inverting instructions. The bells
ring at night, my blood pools all day. Waking
like a hamadryad from hibernation,
wondering why, when everyone else sleeps,
why still leafless and bare. Claudication
reversed, cold pain crawls up from toes to knees
as I cocoon in fleece and furs. That freeze
is the sign of high noon’s warped heat baking
the cold sleeper into a fluffy sleeve
like a human Baked Alaska. Shaking
doesn’t warm enough. The body repels
vulnerability, recodes its shell.

NOTE: The NaPoWriMo prompt for today involved using terms from two dictionaries at opposite ends of a cognitive spectrum, a Classical Dictionary (from whence came “hamadryad”) and a Historical Science Fiction Dictionary (from whence came “cold-sleeper”). The form is a somewhat circular variation on the classic Shakespearean sonnet, with the rhyme scheme: abab cdcd dbdb aa.

3 responses to “Sleeping

  1. Interesting approach to poetry month – cold sleeper is a new term to me – sounds very tough experience

    • The cold sleepers of science fiction are hibernating in cold storage with the hope they’ll survive otherwise unsustainable trips between star systems without warp drive. COVID kind of felt like that for me, but on the edge of consciousness and always aware of the cold.

  2. Got it the stasis pods occupants – thanks

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